Armenian Man Detained in Azerbaijan

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — A resident of an Armenian border village was detained by Azeri authorities after crossing into Azerbaijan the weekend of July 14-15.

The Azerbaijani military claimed to have captured the 34-year-old Karen Ghazaryan while thwarting an Armenian incursion into Azerbaijani territory.

The Armenian Defense Ministry was quick to deny the alleged incursion attempt, insisting that Karapetyan is a civilian resident of Berdavan, a village in the northern Tavush province located just a few kilometers from the Azerbaijani border.

“He suffers from mental problems and because of that didn’t serve in the armed forces of Armenia,” Tigran Balayan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Monday.

Berdavan’s mayor, Smbat Mughdusian, also said that Ghazaryan lives in the local community and suffers from mental disorders. Mughdusian said he went missing shortly after midnight.

The mayor suggested that Ghazaryan lost his way and accidentally crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The man’s family house in the village is closest to the frontier, he said.

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According to Balayan, the Armenian authorities are now trying to help repatriate Ghazaryan, including through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). An ICRC spokesperson in Yerevan said its representatives in Baku are already trying to visit him in custody.

Three Armenian nationals are currently held captive in Azerbaijan, according to the ICRC.

 

Topics: Azerbaijan
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