Any kind of persecution or trial of prisoners is a gross violation of international law, Armenia’s Ombudsman says

Any kind of persecution or trial of prisoners is a gross violation of international law, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said in a statement.

On Wednesday, June 2, hearing of the criminal case against Armenian prisoners Lyudvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan was held in Azerbaijan, which is a gross violation of international law., the Ombudsman said.

Moreover, he added, the State Security Service of Azerbaijan and the Prosecutor General’s Office issued a statement, saying the preliminary investigation of the criminal case against a total of 14 Armenian prisoners of war “who committed sabotage, terrorism and other crimes against Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians in the north-western region of Hadrut has been completed and sent to court.”

“First, all servicemen and civilians of the Armenian side illegally detained in Azerbaijan are prisoners of war. They were captured during the armed conflict, and now that conflict is not over,” Arman Tatoyan said.

Moreover, the Azerbaijani authorities are actually prosecuting the Armenian captives on the basis of their so-called “confessions.”

“It is obvious that they are being held in such conditions in Azerbaijan obviously illegally, and the prosecution or trial of any of the captives, their detention, is a gross violation of the requirements of international humanitarian law, including the Third Geneva Convention.,” Tatoyan said.

According to him, “the policy of anti-Armenianism and hostility of the Azerbaijani authorities in general confirms the illegitimacy of criminal proceedings, making it unnecessary to even talk about the law. Moreover, in these conditions, the lives of prisoners and a number of other vital rights are clearly endangered,”

The Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia has reported that, as can be seen from the videos and photos published by Azerbaijani sources yesterday, in the courtroom, prisoners Ludvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan were treated in a manner that openly degraded human dignity. The monitoring showed that these attitudes and publications were made in order to cause additional mental suffering to the families of the captives and to create tension in the Armenian society.

Studies by the RA Human Rights Defender’s Office show that the publication of the scene was praised on Azerbaijani social media, a number for calls for execution and torture of Lyudvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan could be seen.

“Therefore, the trials of Armenian prisoners held illegally in Azerbaijan completely contradict the principles of international law, grossly violate the rights of prisoners and their families, and politicize humanitarian issues,” the Human Rights Defender said, noting that the Azerbaijani authorities do not report the real number of prisoners.

Therefore, he stressed, all the captives must be released immediately and returned to the Homeland without any preconditions.

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