Report on Azerbaijan's failure to return Armenian POWs sent to UN

February 16, 2021 – 12:51 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The Human Rights Defender of on Monday, February 15 sent a detailed report to the UN Human Rights Council, noting that the Azerbaijani authorities are delaying the return of the captives and prisoners of war, and they are grossly violating international mandates and requirements.

“The report was sent to the UN Human Rights Council under a separate procedure. Only national human rights institutions with international “A” status have this opportunity,” Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan reports.

“The report specifically mentions that the Azerbaijani authorities are abusing legal procedures and politicizing the issue of the repatriation of the POWs. By doing so, they are causing mental suffering to our society and, and foremost, to the families of the captives, and by toying with their emotions they are causing targeted raising of tensions.”

Tatoyan said the report has been submitted now, taking into account the dates and timing of the scheduled sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.

Several dozen Armenian POWs returned from Azerbaijan in mid-December, although Armenian officials said many more people were being held in Baku. Dozens of others, both servicemen and civilians, have been captured after the completion of military hostilities. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said in one of his speeches that the newly detained persons are not prisoners of war but “terrorists”. Human rights lawyer Siranush Sahakyan has said, meanwhile, that at least 120 Armenian prisoners of war are being held in Azerbaijan. Sahakyan represents the rights of some of the POWs before the European Court of Human Rights. The lawyer said there is enough evidence proving the capture of said persons, which the Armenian side will submit to international agencies and courts.

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