ArmInfo.Azerbaijan occupied 215 settlements of the Republic of Artsakh, as a result of which 40,000 citizens were forced to move, and therefore their rights to property, choice of place of residence, work, education, health care and other rights were violated. Ombudsman of Artsakh Gegham Stepanyan stated this on May 19 during the session of the NKR National Assembly.
The Ombudsman stated that as a result of Azerbaijan's large-scale military aggression against Artsakh, 118 communities completely passed under Azerbaijani control, and two more communities partially.
"Also on March 24, 2022, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces invaded the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers, took control of the village of Parukh and nearby positions in the Askeran region, after which they tried to advance in the eastern direction of Artsakh," the NKR Ombudsman added.
When asked to clarify the number of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held by Azerbaijan, Stepanyan said that at the moment Azerbaijan confirms the presence of 38 servicemen and civilians in captivity.
However, according to Gegham Stepanyan, the ombudsmen of Artsakh and Armenia, as well as human rights organizations, have concrete evidence of another 80 people being held captive. At the same time, he expressed regret that to this day Azerbaijan does not confirm these data. "This gives us reason to assert that Azerbaijan deliberately hides the real number of prisoners," the NKR HRD stressed, adding that out of 38 prisoners, 35 are serviceman, and 3 are civilians who were captured after the statement of November 9, 2020, and another 19 civilians are listed as missing, there are no citizens of Artsakh among them.
"Among them there are people whose captivity is confirmed by facts," Gegham Stepanyan said, adding that all 38 prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan were sentenced to long terms on falsified charges. According to him, in this regard, the Armenian side has prepared and distributed a document to the UN.