Artak Beglaryan

Armenian Sources Blast Azerbaijani TV Interviews with Artsakh POWs

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YEREVAN (Panorama.am/news.am) — The We Exist initiative denounced on March 12 an interview with the former Artsakh leaders held captive in Azerbaijan as a blatant violation of human rights and a demonstration of power.

“The interview with the captured and illegally detained former leaders of Artsakh, as announced by Azerbaijan’s state television channel, was yet another display of the egregious violation of human rights and a demonstration of power. Currently, eight representatives of the highest authority of the Republic of Artsakh are held in captivity in Azerbaijan,” it said in a statement.

“Conducting interviews with these detained individuals is impermissible, as it is evident that they are subjected to coercion and incapable of genuinely expressing their thoughts and emotions. Furthermore, such interviews contravene the provisions of numerous international conventions and agreements.

“The We Exist initiative strongly condemns the fact of captivity and the disproportionate steps taken against the former leaders of Artsakh. We appeal to the relevant international structures, demanding urgent actions to prevent crimes in Azerbaijan. The gross violation of international humanitarian law by Azerbaijan should receive an adequate evaluation.

Artak Beglaryan, the former Minister of State and Human Rights Ombudsman of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), similarly raised an alarm about this. “We urge the United Nations, International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization for Security and Cooperation, the European Union and the Council of Europe to take the necessary steps to safeguard the internationally guaranteed rights of detained persons,” read his statement.

President Aliyev’s genocidal and dictatorial regime in Azerbaijan violates international law once again. They not only have abducted the leadership of Artsakh, but also have prevented the possibility of their legal defense.

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Beglaryan emphasized that the former leaders of Artsakh — who are detained in Azerbaijan — are now being forced to give interviews.

“Using hostages for the purpose of propaganda and mass humiliation is also a crime. By the way, the First Special Adviser of the United Nations on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan Mendez, clearly notes in his report of November 1, 2023 that the arrest of Artsakh leaders is evidence of genocide, as it shows the intention to destroy the [Armenian] community [of Artsakh],” Beglaryan added.

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