Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

December 7. The Republic of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan says that Azerbaijan has confirmed the names of fewer captives than the Armenian side’s evidence shows

December 7, 2020

Activities | Peacebuilding | Project։ Stability of HCA Vanadzor in the light of democracy and human rights challenges in the Republic of Armenia 2020 | Peaceful Regulation of Conflicts | Publications | News

The RA Human Rights Defender reported that abuse of servicemen’s corpses , torture and inhumane treatment of persons taken captive are war crimes. He touched upon the statement by Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan that the majority of video materials ascribed to the Azerbaijani armed forces and showing abuse, torture and inhumane treatment of the Armenian side’s servicemen’s corpses is false. Arman Tatoyan also reaffirmed that the RA Government must start work aimed at real results on the issues of captives and missing persons.


The return of persons held captive in Azerbaijan and the transfer of the bodies of those killed was also the focus of the meeting of the RA Human Rights Ombudsman and heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations represented in Armenia.


Earlier, during the meeting with the Ambassador of Lithuania to Armenia, the Human Rights Defender presented his conclusions, noting that the Azerbaijani authorities were artificially delaying the process of exchange of captives and bodies of those killed.


The RA Human Rights Defender completed yet another stage of examination and legal formulations of evidence showing Azerbaijani atrocities against Armenian captives, i.e., servicemen and civilians. Torture, cruelties and inhuman treatment by the Azerbaijani armed forces are of great volumes, there are obvious features of war crimes with motives of ethnic hatred.


The RA Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan reported that together with the Republic of Artsakh/NK Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan, they had finished the 5th closed report on atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces against captured ethnic Armenians and bodies.


It is the 5th report covering only torture and cruelty and refers to the period from November 19-December 2. They have already started preparation of the 6th report.


In his conversation with the mass media, the Republic of Artsakh/NK Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan said that around 40,000 persons were left homeless. A part of them were residents of captured territories, and the other part were residents of settlements that were handed over. According to the preliminary data, as a result of the war, 55 civilians were killed and 163 civilians were wounded.


In the National Burn Center, the RA Human Rights Defender obtained new evidence on the use of mass destruction weapon containing chemical elements (possibly white phosphorus) by the Azerbaijani armed forces in Artsakh/NK. According to specialized doctors, if materials emitted from the used weapon enter the organism through the respiratory tract, they cause lesion of internal organs, which can lead to a long-term deterioration of health, even death.


The European Court of Human Rights upheld the application of the Armenian side to apply an interim measure against Azerbaijan regarding the 13 captives. The European Court claimed from the Azerbaijani Government documented information on the fact of their captivity, location, conditions where they are held and medical service.


The representative of Armenia before the ECHR reported that based on the RA Government’s application, for the first time Azerbaijan provided the ECHR with detailed information on a number of prisoners of war and civilians held in Azerbaijan. The ECHR set December 11 as the deadline for the provision of medical documents and photos of POWs and civilians held in Azerbaijan.


The UN Secretary General’s representative reported that the UN is ready to work with Russia to jointly assess the volume of humanitarian needs in NK.


Supporting the continuity of children’s education, UNICEF reports that during the Nagorno Karabakh conflict days, over 73 schools and 14 kindergartens were damaged and 38,815 pupils were left longing for school, a sense of stability and safety. 


On December 5, the Republic of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan made a post on his Facebook page that “Azerbaijan has so far confirmed the names of fewer detainees than our indisputable evidence shows”.


Referring to the Office of the RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, the Armenian Unified Infocenter reported that both the Armenian and the Azerbaijani sides provided the International Committee of Red Cross with the lists of captives. Earlier, it was reported that Avinyan received the delegation of the ICRC and the Armenian side suggests applying the “all for all” principle in exchanging the war prisoners. It is also proposed to set up a mechanism under which each side should undertake to repatriate the newly identified prisoners without preconditions. Tigran Avinyan also discussed matters concerning the works aimed at exchange of POWs and finding missing persons and those killed with the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross headed by Martin Schüepp, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.


Human Rights Watch recorded in its report that the Azerbaijani forces have captured numerous ethnic Armenian servicemen. According to the report, Armenian POWs were subjected to violence and humiliation. This is evidenced by videos widely circulating in social networks since October. Human Rights Watch specially noted that the Azerbaijani armed forces compelled the Armenian POWs  with the apparent intent to humiliate.


See also: November 23. As of November 22, 350 Armenian servicemen’s corpses had been found or exchanged


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