By Rashid Shirinov
By holding two Azerbaijani civilians hostage, Armenia demonstrates that it is really far from civilized behavior, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said on July 11.
The two Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev have been kept hostage by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for four years already. They 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 armed forces killed the third Azerbaijani Hasan Hasanov.
Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of the separatist regime in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev – to 22 years in prison.
“Photos of Asgarov and Guliyev before and after getting taken hostage prove that during their staying hostage they are subjected to inhuman treatment, physical and moral torture. As a result, both of them suffer from various serious diseases,” Hajiyev said.
He added that the Armenian side, by deliberately showing an inhuman attitude to the hostages in the media, subject their family members and relatives to psychological pressure.
“Violating the norms and principles of international law and the UN Charter, Armenia, by the use of force, occupied Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions,” Hajiyev said.
The spokesman also noted that as a result of the ethnic cleansing, more than one million Azerbaijanis, including Asgarov and Guliyev and their families, were forcibly expelled from their homes.
“Since 1993, Asgarov and Guliyev and their families have been living the lives of internally displaced persons. Their homesickness that had been continuing for more than 20 years prompted them to visit their occupied lands, and from this point of view their desire to see their homes and the graves of parents was understandable,” Hajiyev said.
He added that the illegal arrest of Guliyev and Asgarov and Armenia’s refusal to release them causes the just anger of the Azerbaijani public.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz