Azerbaijani top prosecutor: Torture videos by both Armenian, Azerbaijani military personnel studied
By Sabina Mammadli
Video clips of tortures by both Armenian and Azerbaijani military personnel are being studied, and a joint investigation group has been created with the relevant structures, Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General Kamran Aliyev said.
He made the remarks during a joint briefing of the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
"Naturally, the authenticity of such cases must be studied and accurate information be provided. Armenia has not even published an official statement in connection with the distributed footage. Azerbaijan immediately studied this issue. Azerbaijan is also well aware of the latest videos, the investigation is underway, and I can say that some of them are fake. A joint investigation team has already been created with the relevant structures," he said.
According to the prosecutor general, some countries and their embassies in Azerbaijan take a one-sided position on this video footage, which causes concern.
"There was no war on the territory of Armenia, the population did not suffer. These videos should be investigated," he added.
Talking on the issue, Head of the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General's Office Nemat Avazov noted that Armenia handed over the bodies of six Azerbaijanis, who were tortured and caught on video by Armenian servicemen during the recent border clashes.
Further, the prosecutor-general said that Armenia still avoids the issue of missing people and tries to absolve itself of responsibility.
He added that the parents of people, who went missing in the First Karabakh War, still contact them today, which was repeatedly raised before the Prosecutor-General's Office of Armenia.
"Azerbaijan's Prosecutor-General's Office took DNA samples from two or three relatives of each of the missing. As the remains are found, we are trying to identify them. Some of them have already been identified," Aliyev stated.
Additionally, Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General’s Senior Assistant on Special Assignments Ilgar Safarov said that Azerbaijan released 17 Armenian detainees captured during the suppression of military provocations of Armenia and handed over 133 bodies to Armenia last month.
"A total of 80 servicemen were killed and 274 servicemen were injured in the suppression of the Armenian provocation," he said.
Armenian war crimes
Safarov stressed that the Prosecutor-General's Office is investigating several criminal cases related to the genocide and massacres committed by the Armenian troops against the unarmed civilian population of Azerbaijan.
This decision was made to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to book, as well as to select a preventive measure in the form of a measure of restraint against them in the form of arrest in absentia.
Safarov also revealed the number of those killed in the course of the genocidal crimes, committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan.
"During the genocide in Karkijahan village, 17 people were killed, attempts were made to kill seven people, two people were taken hostage, and 1,796 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In regard to 47 armed persons, who committed crimes, a decision was made to bring them as defendants, as well as on the choice of a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in absentia. During the genocide in Baghanis-Ayrum village, seven people were killed, attempts were made to kill two people, 12 residential buildings were burned, and 438 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In regard to 18 armed persons, who committed crimes, a decision was made to bring them into custody as defendants, as well as to choose a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in absentia. During the genocide in Meshali village, 25 people were killed, attempts were made to kill 14 people, two people were taken hostage, 41 houses and other buildings were burned, and 358 villagers were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In regard to nine armed persons, who committed crimes, it was decided to bring them as defendants, as well as to choose a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in absentia. In Bashgyuneypara village of Aghdara region, 21 people were killed, attempts were made to kill four people, and 599 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. During the Garadaghly genocide, 67 people were killed, attempts were made to kill two people, 49 people were taken hostage, and 941 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In regard to 12 armed persons, who committed these crimes, a decision was made to bring them to trial as defendants, as well as to choose a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in absentia. During the Khojaly genocide, 613 people were killed, eight families were killed, and attempts were made to kill 487 people. A total of 1,275 women, children, and old people were taken hostage and tortured, and 5,379 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In regard to 40 armed persons, who committed these crimes, a decision was made to bring them as accused, as well as to choose a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in absentia. In Bashlybel village of Kalbajar district, 12 people were killed, 14 people were taken hostage, seven out of 36 people, who were taken prisoner died from their injuries, 29 people were forced to leave their permanent place of residence. In the genocide in the tunnel in Kalbajar District, 26 civilians were killed, who wanted to cross the tunnel connecting 35 villages with the regional center. Their bodies were burned along with the cars. 30 people were taken hostage," Safarov reported.
He added that a total of 400 Azerbaijani servicemen and 31 civilians were killed following Armenian crimes from 1994 through 2020.
"During the ceasefire period, 400 servicemen and 31 civilians were deliberately killed, whereas 1,042 servicemen and 69 civilians suffered attempts on their lives. The decision was made to indict 305 perpetrators, as well as to choose a measure of restraint in the form of absentee arrest," Safarov noted.
Furthermore, Safarov shared that a total of 3,336 Azerbaijani citizens were killed as a result of the explosion of mines and unexploded ordnances in the country since 1991.
Besides, the senior assistant highlighted that the crimes committed by the Armenian armed groups can be classified in several directions.
According to him, from 1988-1994, during 38 terror acts, aimed at the civilian population of Azerbaijan, as a result of explosions of 10 passenger buses, 11 cars, one convoy, two trucks, six passenger trains, two metro trains, two helicopters, one aircraft, and one sea ferry 1,105 people were killed, and more than 1,180 were injured.
"During one of these terror acts, on November 20, 1991, near Garakand village of Khojavand District, Armenian military units shot down an MI-8 military helicopter belonging to Azerbaijan, as a result of which 22 people were killed,” Safarov reminded.
The victims of this terror act, according to him, included State Secretary of Azerbaijan Tofig Ismayilov, Prosecutor-General Ismat Gayibov, State Advisor, Minister of Internal Affairs Mahammad Asadov, MPs Vagif Jafarov and Vali Mammadov, Deputy Prime Minister Zulfi Hajiyev, head of the Presidential Administration department and journalist Osman Mirzayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan Saylau Serikov, and journalist of the Azerbaijan State Television Ali Mustafayev.
"On March 18, 1994, a Hercules plane belonging to the Iranian Air Force was shot down near the city of Khankandi, as a result of which 34 diplomats and their families were killed," the official added.
Similarly, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov noted that Azerbaijan appealed to a number of international organizations in order to bring Armenia to justice in connection with the crimes committed both during the first Karabakh war, after it, as well as during the second Karabakh war.
It was added that a total of 212 cases were opened on crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijanis in 1988-1992.
During the briefing, Safarov also revealed the scale of environmental crimes committed by Armenia during the occupation.
According to the results of the preliminary investigation, it was established that the material damage amounted to more than AZN16bn ($9.4 billion).
He stressed that Armenia and its officials illegally exploited the following territories:
- Deposits of Okhchuchay (facing stone), Zangilan (lime raw materials), Vezhnali (quartz-gold-sulfide), Sharifan (sand), Khachinchay gorge (freshwater), Akarachay gorge (freshwater);
- in Kalbajar District - deposits of Chapli (sand-gravel), Agyatag (mercury), Soyudlu (gold-sulfide), Gyzylbulag (gold-copper-pyrite), Agduzbulag (gold-precious metals), Heidara (gold), Gyarbi Gyzylityan and Agzybir (gold), Tartarchay (sand-gravel), Ilyasli and Chaikand (mixed rocks), Ashagi and Yukhari Istisu (thermal mineral waters);
- in Jabrayil district - deposits of Veysalli (cement raw materials), Soltanly (sand), Garajali (sand), Toulouse (building stone), Hajily 1 (earthy gypsum), Sharakenchay, Injachay, Jabrayilchay, Chaylagchay, Gozluchay, Chakhmagchay (freshwater deposits);
- in Tartar District - deposits of Damirli (copper-molybdenum), Chardaghli (coal), Sugovushan-Talysh (mixed rocks), Karabakh plain (freshwater);
- in Aghdam District - deposits of Abdal-Gulably (facing stone), Shahbulag, Chobandag, Boyakhmedli (cement raw materials), Gargarchay 1 (sand-gravel), Shelly (facing stone), Gargarchay gorge (freshwater);
- in Shusha District - deposits of Shusha 1 (lime raw materials), Gargarchay, Khankendichay (freshwater), Turshu (mineral water) sites;
- in Fuzuli District - deposits of Dovletyarly (building stone) Guruchay (sand-gravel) deposits, the Milskoye deposit (freshwater);
- in Khojavand district - deposits of Bina, Hadrut, Tugh, Malikjanli, Adilli (mixed rocks and crushed stone);
- in Lachin District - deposits of Yukhari Khakarichay (sand-gravel), Lachin-Shusha highway (mixed rocks), Minkand (mineral water).
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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