Armenian POWs on trial in Baku earlier this year

YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war, including civilians, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance on Tuesday, August 25.

“Enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons is a violation of fundamental human rights by its nature, since it infringes on an entire range of human rights, established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as well as set out in International Covenants on Human Rights and other major international human rights instruments, the statement reads.

“The international humanitarian and human rights law seeks to refrain people from going missing as a result of arbitrary arrests and other violations occurring during detention and captivity. After the ceasefire signed on November 9, 2020, Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war, including civilians, while the fate of hundreds of missing persons and dozen cases of enforced disappearances resulting from the First Nagorno-Karabakh War and the 44-Day War remain unclarified.”

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the lack of cooperative approach of Azerbaijani authorities makes it impossible to accurately estimate the number of missing persons, to acquire reliable information regarding the fate or whereabouts of those disappeared, and whether they are still alive.

“Azerbaijan continues to disregard the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on the implementation of interim measures to provide information on Armenian hostages in Azerbaijan, as well as provisional measures put forward by the International Court of Justice on December 7, 2021, which instruct Azerbaijan to cease racist and discriminatory policies against Armenians,” the statement continues.

“The issue of disappearances is a humanitarian priority that must be depoliticized, and it must be addressed with strong political will and cooperation. In the absence of such an approach, justice, and social healing, and therefore long-term peace will remain elusive. We call on the international community to assume responsibility for ensuring unconditional access to the whole territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which could alleviate the existing humanitarian crisis․”

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Human Rights Defender Kristine Grigoryan said that 303 persons from Armenia are still missing after the 2020 war.


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