Armenia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the arrest of prominent Artsakh leaders by Azerbaijan, pledging, in a statement, that Armenia will take all steps to protect their rights.
This comes as Azerbaijani sources on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of Artsakh’s former presidents, Arayik Harutyunyan, Bako Sahakian and Arkady Ghukasian, as well as that of parliament speaker Davit Ishkhanyan. Earlier this week it was reported that former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan, the former foreign minister Davit Babayan and two high-ranking Artsakh military commanders were also arrested.
“Despite statements made by high-level Azerbaijani government officials on willingness for dialogue with Nagorno-Karabakh representatives about respecting and protecting the rights of Armenians and not obstructing their return to Nagorno-Karabakh and on the establishment of peace in the region, the Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies continue to carry out arbitrary arrests,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said.
The statement also pointed out that Armenia, on several occasions, has called for the need to guarantee such actions, “including on September 23 from the podium of the UN General Assembly.”
“On September 28, the Republic of Armenia appealed to the UN International Court of Justice, within the framework of the Armenia vs. Azerbaijan case examined as part of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, requesting provisional measures demanding Azerbaijan to refrain from taking punitive actions against current or former Nagorno-Karabakh leaders or military personnel,” explained the foreign ministry.
“The Republic of Armenia will take all possible steps to protect the rights of the unlawfully arrested Nagorno-Karabakh representatives in international bodies, including judicial bodies,” the statement said.
“We also call upon international partners to follow up their calls made thus far to Azerbaijan regarding the protection of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, and address the issue both in bilateral relations with Azerbaijan and within various international bodies,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.