Armenia arrests six servicemen returned by Azerbaijan
By Vugar Khalilov
Armenia has arrested six of its servicemen (including three officers) earlier handed over to Yerevan by Azerbaijan, Trend has reported citing the Armenian media.
A similar case happened in December 2021. A group of Armenian servicemen, who were returned by Azerbaijan, were also arrested in their country.
"Currently, five servicemen have been detained in the framework of a criminal case on the fact of violation of the rules of military service and combat duty, which led to grave consequences," Armenia’s Investigative Committee spokesperson Vardan Tadevosyan said then.
He added that petitions for the arrest of the military were submitted to the court.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned six servicemen were detained by the Azerbaijani military while Armenia's provocation was foiled on the state border in Kalbajar on November 16, 2021.
On December 4, 2021, as a result of negotiations, Azerbaijan transferred 10 Armenian servicemen to the opposite side guided by the principles of humanism.
Prime Minister Ali Asadov earlier said that Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged 122 servicemen and detainees with the participation of Russian peacekeepers from December 2020.
Asadov underlined that Azerbaijan fully complies with the paragraphs of the trilateral ceasefire deal signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan in November 2020, which also envisaged the transfer of detained servicemen.
"With the participation of Russian peacekeepers, a total of 122 servicemen and detainees have been returned since December 22, 2020. Of these, 105 returned to Armenia and 17 to Azerbaijan," the prime minister said.
Referring to the 62 Armenian servicemen who were detained on the Azerbaijani territory after the signing of a trilateral statement, Asadov stressed that "according to all international laws they are not considered prisoners of war”.
"They were detained after the war, entered our territory with a subversive purpose, and the status as prisoners of war does not apply to them. However, Azerbaijan returned 29 of them to the Armenian side. Thirty-three members of this group were convicted by our courts and will be held responsible," he added.
It should be noted that Armenia has failed to provide any information about more than 4,000 Azerbaijani citizens who went missing during the first Nagorno-Karabakh war in the early 1990s. At the same time, Armenia does not provide information about the Azerbaijani citizens who were in captivity during the first Karabakh war.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10, 2020, brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city.
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