YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Two Armenian POW Misha Manukian and Tiko Tikoyan–set free by Azerbaijan–returned home July 28 with the assistance of the International Red Cross Committee.
Tiko Tikoyan–upon his arrival at the Yerevan airport–told reporters that he had been forced by Azerbaijani authorities to stay in the country and not return to Armenia. "I was supposed to be sent to Moscow or stay in Baku," he said. He also added that during his captivity he had been subjected to physical abuse.
The other POW Misha Manukian also said that he wasn’t allowed to return to Armenia. He said he had been in captivity for 5 months in Kubatli and heard about three Armenian POW kept there. He also mentioned that later–one of the three POWs died.
Tikoyan and Manukian were taken as prisoners in January and May 2000–but the officials in Baku had been saying in June that they had no Armenian POW in their territory.
Though the two POW noted their health condition was normal–one could easily see it was not true–judging by their appearance.
Unlike Azeri POW sent back in brand new clothes by Armenian authorities–the Armenian POW were in shabby ones. Both POW were taken to hospital to undergo medical examination.
According to some sources–there are still 3 Armenian POW in Azerbaijan and about 900 missing persons. In a good will gesture Armenia have returned 12 Azerbaijani POW this year–Azerbaijan so far has only returned 3 POW.