By Rashid Shirinov
A protest action demanding the release of two Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who are kept hostages by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for more than three years, was held in front of the Armenian Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, APA reported on November 16.
The protesters started marching from the Marjanishvili metro station. Representatives of local Azerbaijani organizations, activists and students participated in the event, chanting “Freedom for Azerbaijani hostages,” “No to Armenian occupation,” and other slogans.
Dilgam Asgarov’s son Kurdoglu Asgarov, who also participated in the protest, said that for almost four years Armenians illegally keep hostage his father and Shahbaz Guliyev. He noted that the purpose of the action is to draw the attention of the international community to the fate of the hostages.
The two Azerbaijanis were detained by the Armenian armed forces in July 2014 while visiting their native places and graves of loved ones in the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar region. Moreover, Armenian forces killed the third captivated Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov.
Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of a separatist regime in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years. Attempts of Azerbaijan to provide justice and to free the hostages are still unsuccessful.
Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and IDPs, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and other agencies have repeatedly urged international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assist in release of Guliyev and Asgarov, whilst the problem remains topical yet.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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