Armenia raises possible forced disappearances of PoWs in Azerbaijan

March 22, 2021 – 13:33 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan on Monday, March 22 weighed in on a Human Rights Watch report about large-scale war crimes committed by Azerbaijan against Armenian prisoners of war.

“As the Human Rights Watch report stresses the violation by Azerbaijan of international humanitarian law occurred in all stages of captivity of the prisoners of war and civilian hostages implied cruel and degrading treatment and torture,” Naghdalyan said.

“The report establishes that a number of Armenian soldiers were last seen in Azerbaijan’s custody and Azerbaijan has failed to account for them. This indicates a high probability of large-scale enforced disappearances not only among servicemen, but also captive civilians.

“The continued captivity of the Armenian PoWs and civilian hostages after four months of ceasefire clearly demonstrates that the violations of international humanitarian law by Azerbaijan are ongoing. Provided that the reports of ill-treatment and torture of the Armenian PoWs indicate their systematic nature, their continued captivity, humiliation and torture may amount to crimes against humanity.”

Human Rights Watch said Azerbaijani forces abused Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) from the 2020 Nagorno- conflict, subjecting them to cruel and degrading treatment and torture either when they were captured, during their transfer, or while in custody at various detention facilities.

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