Ombudspersons of Armenia, NKR urge Azerbaijan to return Lieutenant Colonel’s driving license

Ombudspersons of Armenia and NKR have issued a joint statement urging to return the driving license of Mr. Aleksan Arakelyan, the NKR Defense Army Lieutenant-colonel, RA citizen, found in Azerbaijan.

On 14 June 2016 the Azerbaijani media disseminated information on a driving license issued by the Republic of Armenia authorities was found in Baku

(,…). The driving license (class BC, issued on 27 August 2014, number: RG 052597) bore the name of Mr. Aleksan Arakelyan.

The Human Rights Defenders’ Offices of Armenia and Artsakh (NKR) conducted separate inquiries and made a conclusion that the mentioned document prima facie belonged to Mr. Aleksan Arakelyan, the NKR Defense Army Lieutenant-colonel, a citizen of Armenia. He became missing on 2 April 2016, the very first day of the full-scale Azerbaijani aggression against NKR (for more information on aggression, see NKR Ombudsman’s Public Interim Report at…/Interim_Public_Report_NKR%20Omb._FINAL.…). The body of Mr. Arakelyan was returned by Azerbaijan to NKR authorities on 10 April 2016.

In this regard, the Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Artsakh (NKR) state that Azerbaijani authorities shall fulfill their obligation under the International Humanitarian Law, explicitly envisaged in Article 16 of the 1949 Geneva Convention (I), and ensure the document in question to be returned to Mr. Aleksan Arakelyan’s family in compliance with all rules and procedures.

The Azerbaijani authorities shall conduct also a comprehensive investigation and provide detailed public explanations on the fact on how the Lieutenant-colonel Mr. Arakelyan’s personal document appeared up in Baku and, moreover, in a public place.

At the same time, we call on international organizations, specifically on those conducting their activities in Azerbaijan and having a human rights protection mandate, to strictly observe the processes of Azerbaijani authorities to eliminate the described violation of the International Humanitarian Law, as well as investigate the reasons of violation.

We declare that this issue will be in the center of attention of both Human Rights Defender of Artsakh (NKR) and Human Rights Defender of Armenia.

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