State Commission: Azerbaijani hostages in Karabakh have health problems

24 April 2017 14:22 (UTC+04:00)

By Rashid Shirinov

Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, two Azerbaijanis who are kept hostages by Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, are experiencing health problems, said Eldar Samadov, the deputy head of the working group of Azerbaijan's State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons.

Samadov said that the State Commission discussed the issue [health state of the hostages] in detail with the international organizations.

"Representatives of the organizations noted that they will conduct the necessary monitoring on this issue, and even invite international doctors, who will check the health condition of the hostages," Samadov told Trend.

Samadov further said that the State Commission continues to work towards the release of the hostages.

Asgarov and Guliyev 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 forces killed the third Azerbaijani citizen Hasan Hasanov.

Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of a separatist regime in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years. Attempts of Azerbaijan to provide justice and to free its citizens are still unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Guliyev’s brother Ilham told Azvision that the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will visit Dilgam and Shahbaz in the near future.

He added that Shahbaz’s family has sent a letter to him with the help of the ICRC some days ago.

“They said that the letter will be handed over to him at the meeting and they will also deliver his letter to us. Since then, we have received no information about my brother,” Guliyev said.

Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and IDPs, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and other agencies have repeatedly urged international organizations, including the ICRC, to assist in release of Guliyev and Asgarov, whilst the problem remains topical yet.

Azerbaijan, whose over 4,000 citizens were taken captive, hostage, or went missing as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, has repeatedly declared its readiness to begin negotiations with Armenia to free the captives and resolve the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

However, the Armenian side keeps ignoring all attempts of Azerbaijan and international organizations, thereby disrespecting the international law and hindering the settlement of the conflict.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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