Statement of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia on the criminal prosecution of Armenian prisoners of war by Azerbaijan

25 May, 2021

We strongly condemn the official Baku’s criminal prosecution against Lyudvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan, who were captured during the recent aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh. Under the international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions, the latters are considered prisoners of war and should have been immediately released after the end of hostilities. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has filed sham criminal cases against them, thus openly violating both the norms of international humanitarian law and its obligations under the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020.

Despite numerous calls of the international community, Azerbaijan continues to use Armenian prisoners of war as political hostages, and continues the policy of torture and psychological pressure on them.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan has not yet prosecuted those who have committed atrocities and inhuman treatment towards Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians, including killings, despite the fact that the perpetrators themselves documented their crimes and made them public.

The official Baku blatantly neglects the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on providing information on Armenian servicemen and civilians held in Azerbaijani captivity. As a result, on March 9, 2021 in accordance with Article 39, paragraph 2 of the Rules of Court, the European Court of Human Rights decided to notify the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of its interim measures against Azerbaijan.

The Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held hostage in Azerbaijan, regardless of the circumstances of their captivity, must immediately be released and repatriated without any preconditions.

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