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Three Armenian Male Students Illegally Abducted in Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijani Forces


Three Armenian Male Students Illegally Abducted in Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijani Forces

Three young Armenian male students of Artsakh have reportedly been abducted at an Azerbaijani checkpoint within the Lachin corridor, prompting international apprehension about potential human rights infringements. The abductions involve university students from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) who were taken into custody while attempting to relocate from Artsakh to Armenia, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers.


Among those affected is Alen Sargsyan, born in 2001 and a university student en route to Yerevan. The motivations behind these abductions remain enigmatic, with the Artsakh Information Center confirming the absence of reliable information about the motives behind these acts.


Further complicating the situation, Tigran Petrosyan, Chairman of the Anti-Crisis Council adjunct to the President of Artsakh, addressed the abductions through a Facebook livestream. He disclosed that Azerbaijani forces had seized one university student, while another student was undergoing interrogation. Petrosyan's comments underscored the urgency and called for unified action amid escalating tensions.


In a bid to rationalize the abductions, Azerbaijani media asserted that the detained students had been involved in "offensive acts against the Azerbaijani flag" in 2021. This argument stems from videos purportedly depicting Armenian football players engaging in actions deemed offensive towards the flag.

In a separate incident, Azerbaijani forces reportedly abducted two more young men at the same unauthorized checkpoint within the Lachin corridor. Witnesses recounted the use of physical force during their apprehension.


Global observers have expressed concern over these developments, citing potential breaches of international norms and human rights. The situation underscores the persistent problem of unauthorized abductions targeting Armenians, as well as allegations of Armenophobia practiced by Azerbaijan.


The Office of the Human Rights Defender furnished additional information about the incident. Representatives of the Azerbaijani border and other services reportedly detained Alen Nelsonovich Sargsyan and five other individuals. These detainees were subjected to interrogation, during which various questions were posed, including queries about sport activities, the purpose of their trip to Armenia, and the economic situation in Armenia and Artsakh.


According to received information, two more individuals from pre-agreed lists — Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan — were unable to pass through the illegal checkpoint. Establishing a connection with them has proven to be challenging.

The Human Rights Defender has called for prompt intervention by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers to ensure the safety and repatriation of the abducted individuals. The situation emphasizes the challenges confronting the citizens of Artsakh, underscoring the urgency of safeguarding fundamental human rights within the region.




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