By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva has sent a report to international organizations on the facts of torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of Azerbaijani POWs and civilians by Armenia during hostage-taking and captivity, the ombudsman office reported on January 25.
The report contains details about the treatment of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces' servicemen, who were captured by Armenia during military operations since September 27 and the Azerbaijani civilians, who have been held hostage by Armenia since 2014
"As it is known, the process of exchanging prisoners of war and hostages between Armenia and Azerbaijan began on December 14. During personal conversations with the returned prisoners of war and hostages, Ombudsman Sabina Aliyeva has been told about the cases of torture and inhuman treatment in Armenia. During the preparation of the report, the statements of the captives and hostages, materials spread on social networks and other facts obtained were used," the office said.
The report provided evidence of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of Azerbaijanis by Armenians during their captivity and hostage-taking. At the same time, it was noted that the Azerbaijani ombudsman monitors the treatment of the Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan and the provision of their rights, the office added.
In conclusion, a call was made to the relevant international organizations in connection with the crimes committed by the Armenian military-political leadership in gross violation of international humanitarian law, in particular, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, it was demanded to bring the perpetrators to responsibility.
It should be noted that since September 27, the Azerbaijani Ombudsman has addressed 8 reports, 8 statements and 14 appeals, including video messages, to relevant international organizations in connection with the attacks of Armenia targeting the civil population and objects in Azerbaijan.
Fourteen Azerbaijani POWs returned to the country on December 14 as part of the “all-for-all” exchange of prisoners and hostages agreed with Armenia.
The prisoner swap took place in line with the trilateral peace agreement signed on November 10 that stipulates the exchange of prisoners as well as bodies of soldiers following the 44-day-war. The exchange was facilitated by Russian peacekeepers that have been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh under the peace agreement.
The November 10 trilateral agreement signed between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia, followed the 44-day-war that started with Armenia’s firing at Azerbaijani positions and civilians.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions to Azerbaijan’s control. Before the signing of the agreement, Azerbaijan had liberated around 300 city centres, settlements and villages, including historic Shusha city.
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