Four months after the statement on ceasefire of November 9, 2020 signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, the Baku regime still refuses to apply one of its main humanitarian clauses: the release of prisoners of war.
French public and political figures have signed an appeal ask France, co-chair of the Minsk Group, in charge of negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, to use all its authority to obtain the release of the Armenian prisoners of war, Le Point reports.
“If this group mandated by the OSCE has not been able to prevent war or defend the victims, let it at least ensure that this humanitarian clause of the ceasefire is respected,” the signatories say.
They remind that during a press conference on February 26, President Ilham Aliyev declared that he considered the detainees to be “terrorists” on the grounds that their arrest took place after November 9. However, these soldiers were at that date trapped in the outskirts of Hadrut, one of the main fronts during the conflict.
“The Azerbaijani President is committing a gross violation of his obligations. This non-respect for a signed document shatters all hope of a return to normal life for Armenian people on their ancestral lands, one hundred years after the genocide of 1915. It can only be interpreted as an additional manifestation of hatred towards this entity that President Aliyev had promised to “hunt like dogs.” And this, after 44 days of military aggression, bombardments and abuses which resulted in the death of 3,500 Armenian conscripts, most of them in their twenties, and the flight of tens of thousands of refugees,” the signatories say.
They call the return of Armenian POWs “an issue that appears to be the prerequisite for the establishment of a negotiated peace, a condition for the rule of law over violence in this region which must not be abandoned to the law of totalitarianism, pan-Turkishism and barbarism.”