President Armen Sarkissian has sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, urging him to take measures in accordance with international humanitarian law to ensure the immediate release and safe return of Armenian prisoners of war.
He noted that 2020 was a difficult and challenging year for all of us, but even more difficult for Armenia because of the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh on September 27 with the active support and participation of Turkey.
“Despite your call for a global ceasefire in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, a statement condemning the continuing violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, despite repeated calls from the international community for an immediate end to the war, Azerbaijan’s military-political leadership deliberately targeted civilians and infrastructure, grossly violating human rights and international humanitarian law. All this led to the loss of thousands of young lives, the disability of thousands, the displacement of the population and the destruction of the Armenian historical and cultural heritage,” President Sarkissian wrote.
During and after the war, Armenian servicemen and civilians were taken prisoner, tortured and inhumanely treated by Azerbaijan, the President added.
“According to the trilateral statement on ceasefire of November 9, 2020, the Republic of Armenia has transferred all prisoners of war to Azerbaijan. However, it is extremely important that the exchange of all prisoners of war or civilians be carried out under the “all for all” principle, which is ignored by Azerbaijan,” the President stressed.
He noted that in gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, Azerbaijan continues to deny and prevent the return of hostages, including prisoners of war.
“Armenia expects support from international partners in the immediate return of all prisoners. I urge the United Nations to take all necessary measures in accordance with international humanitarian law to ensure the immediate release and safe return of prisoners of war,” Armen Sarkissian concluded.