FM: Arrest of Khchatryan is within both international law and Azerbaijan’s legislation
The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan made its comments on the statement of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia regarding the arrest of Vagif Khachatryan, Azernews reports.
“To evade its obligations, Armenia is once again attempting to deceive and politically manipulate the international community regarding the arrest of Vagif Khachaturyan by the State Border Service of Azerbaijan at the Lachin border checkpoint while trying to cross into Armenia in an ICRC vehicle on July 29.
As stated in the information of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Vagif Cherkezovich Khachatryan committed a massacre against the Azerbaijani population in the Meshali village of the Khojaly region within a group of Armenian armed formations on December 22, 1991. 25 Azerbaijanis were killed, 14 were wounded and 358 were displaced in the mass killings. Khachatryan Vagif Cherkezovich was charged under the articles 103 (genocide) and 107 (deportation or forced exile of population) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan within the aforementioned criminal case, with pre-trial detention being ordered by the court as a preventative measure. He was arrested within this criminal case on the border checkpoint on July 29 while traveling to Armenia.
Vagif Khachatryan was placed in a medical facility in Baku and necessary medical treatment was ensured taking into account the purpose of travel of Vagif Khachatryan to get medical assistance.
Steps taken by Azerbaijan were within both international law and Azerbaijan’s legislation.
As confirmed by the ICRC, since December last year, travel of almost 700 persons of Armenian origin via the ICRC to Armenia and back to Azerbaijan was facilitated with no unlawful acts being committed against them. Thus, the claim of the Armenian Foreign Ministry on imminent threat to persons crossing the border checkpoint is completely false and only serves to induce panic among the Armenian residents.
Regarding the claim by Armenia of the alleged breach of the international humanitarian law by Azerbaijan during the arrest of Vagif Khachatryan we would like to note that no restrictions on legal actions against the war criminals exist in the international humanitarian law. Furthermore, it is completely inappropriate for Armenia to refer to the international humanitarian law considering the genocide and the massacres committed by it in 30 years against the civilian populations of Khojaly, Malibeyli, Gushchular, Aghdaban, Ballighaya, Bashlibel, as well as other settlements and cities.
Armenia must support the actions to bring to justice the persons who committed crimes against humanity including genocide, as well as massacres against the Azerbaijani civilian population during the 30 years long occupation period instead of attempting to shield them and cover up their acts. The smear campaign carried out by Armenia against the measures of Azerbaijan in this area are nothing more than a justification and support for war crimes.
Azerbaijan clearly declared time and again during 30 years that it has started the criminal cases against the persons who committed war crimes in its territory with international warrants being issued against these persons, and Azerbaijan will continue to act within the criminal proceedings and the internal legislation to bring these persons to justice according to the international practice,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in its statement.
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