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Azerbaijan Detains 68-Year-Old Citizen of Artsakh Being Transferred to Medical Facility in Armenia

Vagif Khachatryan
Elderly Patient from Artsakh Kidnapped by Azerbaijan during Red Cross Transfer

BREAKING: In a distressing incident, Azerbaijan authorities have detained a 68-year-old citizen of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) who was in the process of being transferred to a medical facility in Armenia for treatment. The transfer was being facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The abduction has sparked outrage and concern among officials and human rights advocates, with the fate of the elderly patient, Vagif Khachatryan, still unknown.

Khachatryan, born in 1955 in Artsakh and lives in Patara village, has a significant history of defending his homeland. Like many other men, he valiantly protected Artsakh during the 1991-94 war. However, the accusations made by Azerbaijan against him are deemed false by those who know him, as there was no such crime committed in Meshali village.

Adding to the gravity of the situation, Khachatryan's kidnapping occurred in close proximity to his own daughter, with an ICRC representative present. This has raised serious concerns about the safety and well-being of the elderly patient, given the volatile situation in Artsakh.

Artsakh's Ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, expressed deep concern over the situation and confirmed that no one, including relatives, ICRC representatives, or Russian peacekeepers, was aware of Khachatryan's current location. The Ombudsman is actively investigating the matter, trying to gather more information about the abduction.

Armenia's Ambassador-at-Large, Edmon Marukyan, accused Azerbaijan of abandoning their promises of peaceful coexistence. He stated, "On a daily basis, Azerbaijan is resigning from the fake narratives it has created regarding their willingness to live in coexistence with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh." The abduction of an elderly patient being transferred under the protection of the ICRC has raised serious concerns about Azerbaijan's commitment to international humanitarian law.

Armenia's Human Rights Defender, Anahit Manasyan, has pledged to take action and appeal to international organizations in response to the detention of the 68-year-old resident of Artsakh. The Human Rights Defender's office issued a statement expressing their intent to seek help from international bodies mandated to protect human rights in such situations.

Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ani Badalyan, also condemned the abduction and highlighted the violation of international humanitarian law. She tweeted, "Abduction of a person under international humanitarian protection is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law."

The incident has further escalated tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, particularly in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh occupation by Azerbaijan.


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