top of page

Trial of Kidnapped Armenian Servicemen Commences in Azerbaijan, Igniting International Concerns

The trial of two Armenian servicemen who were abducted from Armenian territory

The trial of two Armenian servicemen who were abducted from Armenian territory in May has commenced in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, sparking international outcry and raising questions about the legality and fairness of the proceedings.

Harutyun Hovagimyan, born in 1989, and Karen Ghazaryan, born in 2004, were taken captive on May 26 during an Azerbaijani attack on a vehicle delivering essential supplies to combat positions of the Armenian Ministry of Defense, ministry reports. The Azerbaijani authorities are accusing them of a range of offenses, including illegally crossing the border, assaulting Azerbaijani border guards, attempted terrorism, weapons smuggling, and other illegal activities.

The circumstances surrounding the abduction of these Armenian Armed Forces servicemen have been a topic of intense scrutiny. Armenia's Ministry of Defense has been actively investigating the incident, striving to uncover the details of the illegal seizure of Hovagimyan and Ghazaryan on sovereign Armenian soil.

Anahit Manasyan, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, has been working to bring the case to the attention of international organizations. She has emphasized that the servicemen's situation falls under the purview of international humanitarian law, urging that they be granted the protections and guarantees afforded to captives in such circumstances.

The international community has been closely monitoring the situation. Concerns have been raised about the treatment of the captured Armenian servicemen, particularly in light of allegations of unfair trials and violations of their rights. The Armenian government, along with human rights organizations, has pointed to the actions of the Azerbaijani authorities as potential violations of the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and international humanitarian law, including the Third Geneva Convention.

Manasyan's recent statement underscores the seriousness of the situation. "The Armenian servicemen illegally detained in Azerbaijan should unequivocally be recognized as Prisoners of War," she asserted. "Their detention, prosecution, and ongoing proceedings represent grave violations of international humanitarian law."

The ongoing trial of the Armenian servicemen has reignited tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, who have a history of conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. As the proceedings unfold, the international community remains vigilant, demanding transparency, fairness, and adherence to international legal norms.

Armenia's Human Rights Defender's Office continues to document and evaluate information related to the case and intends to present its findings to relevant international organizations, stakeholders, and competent state bodies. The fate of Hovagimyan and Ghazaryan, along with the implications of their trial, will likely continue to draw international attention and debate in the coming weeks.


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page