ArmInfo. The Ombudsman of Armenia accused Azerbaijan of artificially delaying the exchange of prisoners and bodies of the dead. Moreover, Azerbaijan continues the practice of cruel treatment of prisoners who ended up in Azerbaijan during and after hostilities. According to the press service of the Ombudsman, Arman Tatoyan noted that the Azerbaijani authorities assert, on the one hand, that the exchange of prisoners will take place after the end of the process of exchanging bodies of the dead, and on the other, the process of exchanging bodies is being unreasonably delayed. By such actions, Azerbaijan grossly violates the basic requirements guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions.
"It is obvious that with these actions, Azerbaijan deliberately intends to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension in the Armenian society, undermine the psychological atmosphere, inflict mental suffering on the families of the killed and captured military personnel," Tatoyan stressed. He noted that this is nothing more than a deliberate organization of hate propaganda and an integral part of the coordinated policy of official Baku, which supports the practice of torture and inhuman treatment of people.
From the very beginning of the war, since September 27, 2020, the Ombudsman has constantly recorded that the attacks of the Azerbaijani armed forces on Armenia and Artsakh were accompanied by torture and inhuman treatment, massive destruction of peaceful settlements, other gross violations of human rights committed with the involvement of hired jihadists and terrorists, organized hate propaganda.
"Throughout all hostilities, as well as after their end, the media and, especially, in the sources of Azerbaijani social media, videos and photographs are constantly being published in which the Azerbaijani armed forces desecrate the bodies of Armenian military personnel, torture and humiliate captured military personnel and civilians. All this is accompanied by admiring Azerbaijani comments (evidence of these conclusions is recorded.) This is an integral part of the methods used by Azerbaijan during the war in September-November 2020. Throughout the war, it was obvious that the Azerbaijani authorities encouraged these atrocities and humiliations, having the goal is to inflame hatred and enmity in Azerbaijan towards ethnic Armenians and to glorify those who committed these acts, "the statement says. Research by the Human Rights Defender confirms that these vicious phenomena, which in no way fit the human imagination and contradict all international requirements, are systematized and widespread, ranging from political authorities to cultural and sports figures. These findings are supported by numerous specific facts and evidence.
After the end of hostilities, torture and inhuman treatment of the captives of the Armenian side by the Azerbaijani armed forces received new manifestations: their number and prevalence, the degree of severity increased significantly. It is obvious that torture and cruelty are carried out and also filmed by representatives of the armed forces of Azerbaijan, whose actions are only encouraged.
"The issue of releasing and ensuring the safe return of prisoners, the exchange of bodies of the dead, in the current conditions requires an urgent, immediate solution. Therefore, I appeal to the international community and especially to foreign structures with a mandate to protect human rights: using maximum opportunities, it is necessary to take real steps to urgent solving this problem, with the aim of freeing people from inhuman, cruel captivity and grave war crimes, "the Ombudsman of Armenia concluded.