YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — A daughter of a seriously ill Karabakh resident arrested by Azerbaijani authorities during his aborted evacuation to Armenia demanded his immediate release on Monday, July 31, saying that she fears for his life.
“We have no information about his condition, we don’t know if he is alive or not,” Vera Khachatryan told reporters as she picketed the Yerevan offices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Vagif Khachatryan, a 68-year-old resident of the Karabakh village of Patara, was in the latest group of patients who were being escorted by the ICRC to Armenian hospitals for treatment on Saturday, July 29. He was detained at an Azerbaijani checkpoint in the Lachin corridor in what Karabakh’s leadership and the Armenian government condemned as a gross violation of international law.
Azerbaijani authorities said Khachatryan was taken to Baku to stand trial on charges of killing and deporting Karabakh’s ethnic Azerbaijani residents in December 1991, at the beginning of the first Armenian-Azerbaijani war. Karabakh officials strongly deny the accusations.
The ICRC said on July 30 that its representatives in Baku visited Khachatryan in Azerbaijani custody and enabled him to communicate with his family.
“My father has still not contacted us, that is false information. We have no news except that he is in Baku,” countered Vera Khachatryan, who fled to Armenia during the 2020 war with Azerbaijan.