By Rashid Shirinov
A group of Azerbaijanis held a protest action in front of the Armenian Embassy in France, Report informed on December 15.
The rally participants demanded the release of two Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who are kept hostages by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for more than three years.
The protesters noted that Armenia is an aggressor state and brought to the attention of the French public the fact of captivity of Azerbaijani citizens in the territories recognized as lands of Azerbaijan in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
They also noted the fact of violation of the Geneva Convention and that one million Azerbaijanis were forced to leave their homes as a result of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.
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 Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Armenian forces killed the third captivated Azerbaijani, 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 the hostages are still unsuccessful.
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 International Committee of the Red Cross, to assist in release of Guliyev and Asgarov, whilst the problem remains topical yet.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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