ICRC: Our goal to ensure humane treatment of Azerbaijani hostages

14 March 2018 17:52 (UTC+04:00)

By Rashid Shirinov

One of the goals of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to ensure humane treatment of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev who are in the Armenian captivity, the ICRC headquarters told Trend on March 14.

“One of the principles of our organization’s activity when it comes to visits to detainees is confidentiality. Our visits are aimed at ensuring humane treatment in full compliance with international norms,” the Committee said.

Asgarov and Guliyev have been kept hostage by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for more than three years. They 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 armed forces killed the third Azerbaijani Hasan Hasanov.

Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of the separatist regime in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev – to 22 years in prison.

ICRC Baku Office's Public Relations Department head Ilaha Huseynova told Trend that the ICRC representatives regularly visit the Azerbaijani hostages.

“The purpose of these visits is to get acquainted with the conditions of their detention and treatment, and to ensure their contacts with families,” she said.

Huseynova noted that the last such visit took place in February 2018. “However, the ICRC does not publish the results of its monitoring, but discusses them on a bilateral and confidential basis only with the relevant authorities,” she added.

It is noteworthy that the International Human Rights Defense Committee (CIPDH) has recently informed about the facts of torture against Guliyev and Asgarov, and the latter’s lawyer Anar Bagirov confirmed this information.

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.


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

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