ICRC chief says keeps return of Armenian PoWs in focus

June 14, 2021 – 18:13 AMT

PanARMENIAN.NetPeter Maurer, the Chairman of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has responded to the President Armen Sarkissian’s letter on the immediate return of all Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held by Azerbaijan.

Maurer has assured that issues raised by the President are in the center of the organization’s and his own attention.

Noting that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has had an active presence in the region since 1992, Maurer said in particular that since the first days of hostilities in September 2020, the organization has provided humanitarian assistance and expressed readiness for further action by the international community, within the humanitarian mandate provided to the ICRC.

Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers. In addition, six Armenian troops were captured on Armenian soil in late May.

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