#actnow #Releasepows #freedom
Armenian pows are held in azeri custody for:
Read the whole story published by Human Rights Watch.
Dear Human Rights and Advocacy Organization Representative,
We are writing to share with you our deep concern regarding the fate of more than 200 Armenian prisoners of war (POWs). The POWs are held captive by Azerbaijan in violation of the Geneva Conventions as well as the tripartite ceasefire agreement signed on November 10, 2020 between Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan ending the unprovoked war against Nagorno-Karabagh.
Nearly 5 months have passed since the signing of the trilateral agreement, but Azerbaijan continues to openly refuse the return of Armenian POWs. This is a violation of the point eight under the above mentioned agreement, which states: “The Parties shall exchange POWs, hostages and other detained persons, and dead bodies.” Such explicit decline of fulfilling the obligation committed at the highest level of Azerbaijani Government serves as a breach of the agreement.
Likewise, Azerbaijan fails to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the formal mediator of the humanitarian efforts. ICRC has stated repeatedly about the importance and urgency of the created situation, urging for compliance with the international law. While Armenia has stayed faithful to the signed agreement, Azerbaijan continues violating it on the ongoing basis.
According to Article 118 (see ref1) of the Geneva Conventions POWs shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The Geneva Conventions relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (see ref2) also states POWs must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) states in its latest press release dated March 16, 2021 that it had to apply Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to demand information from the Government of Azerbaijan regarding 112 Armenians who are being detained without any information regarding their whereabouts and health conditions not to mention their release date. The Court resorted to Rule 39 of the Rules of Court due to the repeated failure of Azerbaijan in providing information requested by ECHR multiple times regarding the missing Armenian hostages. ECHR states that it is still reviewing 72 court cases of Armenian POWs.
Multiple videos and images have been circulating the internet with depiction of inhumane treatment of Armenian POWs captured by the Azerbaijani Armed forces. Those have been recorded and fact-checked by the local authorities and reputable international organizations, including the most recent March 19 (see ref3) and March 12 (see ref4) reports by Human Rights Watch.
The Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Artsakh published a joint report detailing evidence (see ref5) of widespread Armenophobia, organized hate speech in Azerbaijan as well as evidence of inhuman treatment of Armenians by Azerbaijani Armed forces. The Human RIghts Defender of Armenia published another report presenting the atrocities (see ref6) of the Azerbaijani armed forces, which among other things, were accompanied by torture, indignation and humiliation of the Armenian prisoners (servicemen and civilians) in Azerbaijan.
We kindly inquire of all human rights and advocacy organizations to take action, and engage to accelerate and facilitate the return of Armenian POWs to Armenia.
Any delay of action encourages Azerbaijan’s atrocities and violence, risking the health and lives of Armenian POWs. We believe preventing and reversing this is aligned with the agenda of your organization and hope for your proactive engagement.
Thanks in advance and best regards
Armenians from around the world.
1. Geneva Convention Relative to The Treatment of Prisoners of War.
3. Azerbaijan tortured Armenian prisoners: Daily Brief Human Rights Watch.
4. Survivors of unlawful detention in Nagorno-Karabakh speak out about war crimes
Human Rights Watch: New evidence of torture and inhumane treatment of civilians by Azerbaijani forces emerges.
5. Organized hate speech and animosity towards ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan as root causes of ethnically-based torture and inhuman treatment by Azerbaijani Armed forces. Ad Hoc Public Report: Human Rights Defender of Armenia.
6. The treatment of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives in Azerbaijan. Ad Hoc Public Report: Human Rights Defender of Armenia.