Actions of the Azerbaijani authorities run counter to international humanitarian law: NKR MFA

“A farce of a trial against NKR citizen Arsen Baghdasaryan completely fits into the logic of the policy of systematic violation of the international humanitarian law by Azerbaijan,” Spokesperson of the NKR Foreign Ministry Ani Sargsyan said, commenting on sentencing NKR citizen Arsen Baghdasryan to 15 years in jail in Azerbaijan.

“It has also become the norm for the Azerbaijani side to use the media to disseminate materials on prisoners of war and hostages, which put them in the most humiliating and degrading situation,” she said in comments to News.am.

“Gross violations of international humanitarian law on the part of Azerbaijan are a challenge for the entire international community. According to the first article of the Geneva Conventions, the Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances,” the Spokesperson said.

“In this regard, we are confident that the international community should use all the forms and means of pressure on Azerbaijan to urge the Azerbaijani authorities to fully comply with international humanitarian law, particularly, with regard to prisoners of war and hostages,” she added.

She further explained that “At the time of detention Arsen Baghdasaryan was suspended from military service for a regular unauthorized abandonment of a military unit and was in civilian clothes. The Azerbaijani side itself confirmed that he had no firearm with him. The accusations of the Azerbaijani side against Arsen Baghdasaryan are not only groundless, but also contradict the common logic,” Ani Sargsyan said.

“Even if take into consideration the version of the Azerbaijani side that Arsen Baghdasaryan was in military service, the actions of the Azerbaijani authorities run counter to international humanitarian law, which prohibits the trial of combatants for their participation in hostilities, if they did not commit war crimes. A lawful combatant must be given a POW status upon capture and immunity from criminal prosecution for acts that do not violate the laws and customs of war,” she concluded.

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