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Intl Human Rights Lawyer Exposes Ongoing Torture & Inhumane Treatment of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan

Intl Human Rights Lawyer Exposes Ongoing Torture & Inhumane Treatment of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan

During a press conference held on Thursday, esteemed International Human Rights Attorney Siranush Sahakyan brought attention to the disturbing plight of Armenian detainees in Azerbaijan, highlighting the alarming continuation of torture and inhumane treatment against the POWs.

Official reports indicate that 55 Armenian captives are held in Azerbaijan, although unofficial accounts suggest a significantly higher number of individuals in captivity. Sahakyan revealed these distressing statistics, shedding light on the severe situation faced by Armenian POWs in Azerbaijani custody.

The human rights attorney highlighted that among those held captive are six Armenian civilians, 41 Armenian soldiers, and eight former high-ranking political and military figures from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), categorizing them as political prisoners. Additionally, unofficial information suggests the presence of at least 80 more Armenian military personnel and civilians in Azerbaijani captivity, yet there have been no concerted efforts to ascertain their well-being or fate.

A major concern highlighted by Sahakyan was the lack of access to these detainees. Azerbaijani authorities have only permitted visits by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), denying access to independent organizations committed to combating torture. Moreover, ICRC visits are often delayed, with significant delays observed in the case of high-ranking Artsakh figures.

Sahakyan emphasized the accounts of ill-treatment and torture reported by those who have been released from captivity, pointing out the absence of effective mechanisms in Azerbaijan to prevent torture. The restriction on visits by independent experts perpetuates a climate of inhumane and degrading treatment faced by detainees.

Expressing discontent with the prevalent approach, Sahakyan criticized the reliance on the ICRC as the primary entity for addressing such grave violations. She asserted that the ICRC's mandate does not extend to providing legal assessments or publicly disclosing instances of torture. Additionally, attempts by UN rapporteurs to visit Azerbaijan in relation to this issue have been unsuccessful.

The revelations made by Sahakyan spotlight a pressing human rights crisis, demanding urgent attention and concerted international efforts to address the distressing situation faced by Armenian detainees in Azerbaijani custody. The need for comprehensive measures to ensure the humane treatment of captives and uphold international humanitarian law remains a crucial priority in this deeply concerning matter.


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