STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)—The Defense Ministry of Artsakh released a statement on Monday disputing the credibility of a video, published by Azerbaijan, purportedly showing an Armenian soldier crossing the border from Artsakh into Azerbaijan. The Defense Ministry called the video “another brilliant example of the violation of international law applicable to such cases,” and asserted that the act “shows the imagination of Azerbaijani propaganda.”
“First, let us mention that the moment of crossing into the enemy side is completely staged and doesn’t correspond to reality,” the Defense Ministry statement said about the video. “With that the enemy has tried to show that its personnel were at the scene at the moment and had control over the situation, but, as a rule, the opposing guards weren’t at those positions. It’s clear that the video has helped the opponent make a failed attempt to increase the role of its guards. Another conviction is that taping at that moment on the frontline would be impossible because the Armenian guards would immediately strike anyone who made such an attempt. As far as the interrogation is concerned, the video clearly shows that the soldier was first subject to violence on the part of the opponent, the traces of which are presented as a reason for the soldier to leave the position, and expresses ideas that were served and ready-made in a primitive way. It is also clear that all the thoughts expressed and the ‘information’ provided by the Armenian soldier in the video are false, don’t correspond to reality and were done under provocations.”
Azerbaijani media outlets have disseminated videos showing an Armenian soldier saying why he crossed into the enemy’s side. He also speaks about another soldier who had also wanted to cross the border. Spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, mentioned that there are special agencies that will examine the issue related to the second soldier.
As a rule, international law prohibits publically parading captive servicemen or prisoners of war. Azerbaijan has repeatedly violated this law by showing captured Armenian servicemen on national television, often humiliating them, and often coercing false admissions in public under duress. A number of Armenian soldiers have also been killed in Azeri captivity, sometimes after being publically paraded and humiliated.