June 4, 2021 – 11:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Any kind of prosecution or trial of prisoners of war is a gross violation of international law, Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said on Thursday, June 3.
Tatoyan’s comments came a day after a sham trial of two Armenian PoWs, Lyudvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan, illegally being held in Azerbaijan, kicked off in a court in Baku, with state prosecutors charging them for allegedly torturing “Azerbaijani captives” during the Karabakh War in the 1990s.
The Ombudsman said the trial is a gross violation of the rights of Mkrtchyan and Khosrovyan who were captured during the 44-day war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Karabakh) in 2020.
Tatoyan also weighed in on a statement from Azerbaijan’s State Security Service and the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, which claimed preliminary investigation of the criminal case against a total of 14 Armenian PoWs “who committed sabotage, terrorism and other crimes against Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians in the north-western region of Hadrut has been completed and sent to court.”
“First, all the soldiers and civilians of the Armenian side being illegally held in Azerbaijan are captives: they were captured during an armed conflict, and that conflict is not over,” Tatoyan said.
“Moreover, the Azeri authorities are prosecuting the Armenian side’s captives on the basis of their “testimonies”. It is obvious that they are being kept illegally in Azerbaijan.”
The Human Rights Defender noted that Mkrtchyan and Khosrovyan were being humiliated kept during the trial, having been placed in a glass cage, isolated from the rest. According to him, such attitude and behavior were meant to cause additional mental suffering to the families of the captives and stir up tension among the Armenian society.