Ombudsman’s report sheds light on violation of Armenian Officer’s rights in Azerbaijan

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has issued a public report on violations of the Armenian military officer Mr. Gurgen Alaverdyan’s rights after he appeared on the territory of Azerbaijan.

“Immediately after Mr. Gurgen Alaverdyan appeared in Azerbaijan, several videos with Azerbaijani soldiers were published on YouTube and later largely disseminated on social networks on August 23. These videos demonstrate Mr. Gurgen Alaverdyan surrounded by members of the Azerbaijani military, who handcuffed and blindfolded him with a winter-hat. Furthermore, the videos clearly demonstrate Azerbaijani military servicemen making insulting, humiliating statements, pronouncing
ethnic slurs and diminishing Mr. Alaverdyan’s ethnicity and honor. Another video was published accompanied by a song diminishing the officer’s dignity. All the videos are full of hate speech with a clear reflection of Armenophobia,” the report reads.

On 26 August, the Azerbaijani authorities disseminated another video showing Mr. Alaverdyan, sitting in front of the Azerbaijani flag, and reading out a statement about his service in the Armenian Armed Forces, about his appearance in Azerbaijan and his further plans.

In particular, Mr. Gurgen Alaverdyan “confesses” in detail on how “on how he appeared in Azerbaijan on August 23. The officer also “confesses” that he does not want to continue his military service in Armenia any longer and deeply regrets his actions, he wants to stay in Azerbaijan and make his
contribution to the Azerbaijani state. At the end of the text, he announces that “Armenians do not have chances to win the Azerbaijani army.”

The Human Rights Defender notes that “according to Article 14 of the Geneva Convention III “Prisoners of War are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honor.”

“The filming and publication of the videos of August 23, 2020 violates Mr. Gurgen Alaverdyan’s right for the respect of his dignity and honor protected by Article 14 of the same Convention. This international obligation prohibits any verbal assault and precludes any treatment during detention that humiliates prisoners, for example, scornful language or other harassment,” the report stated.

For the full report click here.

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