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 Thursday, May 19 2022 17:26
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Artsakh Ombudsman on number of Karabakh villages occupied by  Azerbaijan and number of Armenian captives 

Artsakh Ombudsman on number of Karabakh villages occupied by  Azerbaijan and number of Armenian captives 

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. 

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