The father of a missing soldier protest in Yerevan.

Families of Missing Soldiers Protest outside Armenian Government Offices

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YEREVAN (Panorama.am) — The families of Armenian soldiers who went missing during the recent Artsakh war on Tuesday, January 5, staged a protest outside the government building to again call the authorities’ attention to the problem and to learn about the search efforts.

“My son joined the military two months before the war. He went missing in the Hadrut region. One of his fellow soldiers says that he saw my son killed, another says that he saw him wounded. Now I have no news of him, neither his body has been found, nor his name is on the list of prisoners,” a missing soldier’s mother told reporters.

The mother of another missing serviceman noted that she has not heard from her son for 80 days.

The father of one of the missing soldiers, Roman Gevorgyan, said: “There are parents who have seen photos of their children in intensive care units. They were transported to Yerevan, but cannot be found anywhere, not in a single hospital. The children have gone missing for a week. They are not needles to get lost without a trace.”

He showed a photograph of one of the wounded soldiers taken in the Goris hospital, adding they had not been able to find him for a week. He stated Health Minister Arsen Torosyan should be held to account for the failed efforts to find those soldiers, demanding a meeting with him.

According to the father, the government does not know that more than 800 Armenian soldiers are being held in a Baku prison. “We talked to 44 repatriated POWs, they say that there were three floors and two buildings, with 6 people kept in each cell. The children got a blood test with their eyes closed, but they saw the numbers. We add up and it turns out to be more than 800,” he said.

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He presented the parents’ demand: “There is a site where Azerbaijanis buried the dead soldiers. They must find out where they are buried so that we can find and retrieve the remains. In addition, we must be provided with the specific names of the prisoners. I am convinced that there are over 800 children in the Baku prison.

“I don’t know what they are doing: what New Year, what Snow Maiden? It’s a shame, they are not at work. Everyone must work. I haven’t seen my son for three months.”

He also said Azerbaijanis do not allow search operations for the surviving soldiers in some places.

The parent added there will be no meeting with Nikol Pashinyan, as the premier is preparing for a trilateral meeting and avoids contacts not to catch coronavirus.

“We can hold a phone call. We will present our concerns to him over the phone, but the health minister must come here, if he does not come, we will find him,” Gevorgyan said.

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