April 28, 2021 – 17:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – President Armen Sarkissian has sent letters to Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid, stressing that Armenia is expecting the organizations’ support in securing the immediate return of prisoners of war from Azerbaijan.
Sarkissian noted that the year 2020 was challenging and difficult for the country not only due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on September 27, with the active support and direct participation of Turkey.
“Both during and after the war, Armenian servicemen and civilians were captured and are now suffering torture and inhuman mistreatment by Azerbaijan,” the President wrote. He said the “all for all” principle for the exchange of all prisoners of war and other detained persons should be implemented, as stipulated for in a trilateral statement signed by Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan.
The President also cited the activity and the fact-finding missions launched and carried out by the Human Rights Defender’s office, which further shed light on the concerns of the Armenian side.
Sarkissian said Armenia expects support from its international colleagues and urged them to take all the necessary measures to help return the prisoners of war and civilians being kept hostage as soon as possible.
Several dozen Armenian POWs have returned from Azerbaijan so far, although Armenian officials say many more people were being held in Baku. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev claims, however, that persons being kept in Baku are not prisoners of war but “terrorists and saboteurs”. Officials and human rights advocates from the Armenian side, however, maintain Azerbaijan is still holding hundreds of people hostage, pledging to submit evidence proving the capture of said persons to international agencies and courts.