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 Monday, April 19 2021 12:48
Marianna Mkrtchyan

The Armenian Ombudsman again appealed to the OSCE, the Council of  Europe and the UN on the issue of the immediate return of Armenian  prisoners

The Armenian Ombudsman again appealed to the OSCE, the Council of  Europe and the UN on the issue of the immediate return of Armenian  prisoners

ArmInfo.Armenian human rights defender Arman Tatoyan, in an official letter to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the Council of  Europe, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights and other international  bodies, provided additional information on the urgency of the return  of Armenian prisoners from Azerbaijan, the real situation, and the  protection of the rights of those who were captured, missing persons  and their families.

According to the press service of the Ombudsman's office, the letter  primarily refers to the ongoing open armed conflict.

"From the point of view of international [humanitarian] law, this  means that regardless of whether they were taken prisoner after the  trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 or before, they are  prisoners of war, prisoners of war and must be released immediately.   This issue is artificially delayed due to the open abuse of legal  procedures, presenting them as terrorists and in violation of  international rules, using detention as a punishment, " Tatoyan  stressed.

Meanwhile, he stated that this is a universal international  requirement that must be met automatically. "On the contrary,  international human rights requirements and international  humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention of 1949, are  grossly violated. The release and return of prisoners should be  considered exclusively in the context of human rights and  humanitarian processes.

The monitoring of the Human Rights Defender, as well as the results  of the investigation of the complaints received, constantly confirm  that the Azerbaijani authorities, grossly violating international  requirements, artificially delay the release of Armenian prisoners  and deliberately do not disclose their actual number. Through their  policies, they violate the rights of prisoners and cause mental  suffering to the families of prisoners and missing persons, as well  as create tension in the Armenian society.

The evidence collected by the Office of the Human Rights Defender  confirms that the number of prisoners held in Azerbaijan is higher  than the Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed. This also applies to  the 44 prisoners returned in 2020.

The absolute urgency of the issue of the release and return of  prisoners should be considered in the context of the policy of hatred  towards Armenians and enmity in Azerbaijan, which is constantly  promoted at the state level.

Therefore, taking into account the humanitarian mandates of these  international bodies and their role in the protection of human rights  (the priority of the right to life), they were provided with  additional information about the real situation, and therefore there  is an urgent need to take decisive measures for the release and  return of all prisoners, " the letter of the Human Rights Defender of  Armenia reads. 


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