YEREVAN, APRIL 28, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian has sent letters to Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić and Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Maria Schmid, over the urgent issue of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians who are held captive in Azerbaijan. Mr. Sarkissian noted that Armenia is expecting support from the international partners over the quick return of all POWs and detained civilians from Azerbaijan, the Armenian President’s Office told Armenpress.
In the letters the President emphasized that 2020 was a challenging year for Armenia not only due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also the war unleashed by Azerbaijan with the support and direct participation of Turkey against Artsakh on September 27.
“Despite the international community’s regular calls to immediately stop the war, Azerbaijan’s military-political leadership was massively and deliberately targeting the civilian population and infrastructure, with gross violations of human rights and the norms of the international humanitarian law.
This led to the loss of thousands of young lives, made thousands disabled, led to the displacement of the population and destruction of the Armenian historical and cultural heritage.
During and after the war Armenian servicemen and civilians have been captured, they are subject to tortures and inhuman treatment by Azerbaijan”, President Sarkissian said.
Emphasizing that today addressing the humanitarian situation in Artsakh is a key matter, and that the international community must show an urgent attention to it, the Armenian President said it’s highly important to conduct the exchange of all prisoners of war and detained civilians by the “all for all” principle, which is ignored by Azerbaijan.
Currently, Azerbaijan continues rejecting and obstructing the return of hostage-taken civilians and POWs with gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
In this context President Sarkissian highlighted the activity of the Ombudsman of Armenia, his fact-finding works, who always raises the concerns and problems of the Armenian side at the international arena.
In the end of his letters the Armenian President called on the CoE, the OSCE, their Secretary Generals to take all necessary measures in accordance with the international humanitarian law to ensure the immediate release and safe return of the prisoners of war and civilians.
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan