Ombudsman: Armenians being held in Azerbaijan are prisoners of war

February 27, 2021 – 14:13 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has responded to statements from the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev regarding the Armenian captives held in Baku. Tatoyan has stressed that all the Armenian servicemen and civilians being kept by the Azerbaijani side are prisoners of war.

Aliyev has said that Baku has returned all Armenian POWs to Yerevan, claiming that all other persons being kept in Azerbaijan are “terrorists and saboteurs.”

Tatoyan noted on Saturday, February 27 that reliable evidence collected by the Office of the Human Rights Defender confirms that the real number of people captured by Azerbaijan is much bigger than that confirmed by the authorities in Baku.

The human rights defender has documented a number of cases when, despite the existence of video recordings and other evidence, the Azerbaijani authorities deny having those persons or delay the approval process.

“Criminal prosecution against the Armenian captives held in Azerbaijan, their detention, as well we calling them “terrorists” or “saboteurs” are gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights in general,” Tatoyan added.

According to data provided by the Armenian side, at least 140 Nagorno- prisoners of war are being kept in Azerbaijan.

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