Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday has strongly condemned the prosecution of Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians on false charges by Azerbaijan.
“According to international law prisoners of war cannot be prosecuted for their participation in military actions. At the same time, amid the policy of widespread hatred against Armenians in Azerbaijan and the state-sponsored racism, it is obvious that the ongoing trials cannot be fair and transparent,” said a statement issued by the foreign ministry, which said taking hostages and kidnapping civilians are gross violations of numerous norms of international law.
Another indication of war crimes and crimes against humanity is the concealing of the actual number of Armenian POWs and captured civilians and places of their detention by Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijan continues to blatantly violate a number of fundamental documents, to which it is a signatory, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and, particularly, the Third Geneva Convention,” the foreign ministry stated.
“Thus, we strongly condemn the illegal June 14 decision by a Baku Court to sentence civilian Vicken Euljekjian, citizen of Armenia and Lebanon, to 20 years of imprisonment. He was kidnapped by the Azerbaijani armed forces the day after the signing of the November 9, 2020, trilateral statement, while the court decision was based on forced confessions obtained through torture,” said Armenia’s foreign ministry.
Yerevan said it was equally deplorable that trumped-up criminal proceedings and criminal prosecution were initiated against servicemen captured during military operations by Azerbaijan in vicinity of Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd villages of the Hadrut Region of Artsakh which were under the control of the Armenian forces and called it a violation of the first provision of the November 9 trilateral statement.
“The video of conversation between the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev, on June 15, during their visit to the city of Shushi of the Republic of Artsakh, which is currently under the Azerbaijani occupation, proves that in the post-war period the issue of prisoners of war is being used by Azerbaijan for political purposes as an instrument of pressure against Armenia, which is also a blatant violation of the November 9 trilateral statement. This fact once again attests to Azerbaijan’s consistent policy of non-compliance with its own commitments,” added the foreign ministry.
Yerevan called on international partners, as well as human right groups to strongly condemn the gross violations of international law by Azerbaijan and demand the termination of false criminal cases and the immediate repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war.