YEREVAN, DECEMBER 10, ARMENPRESS. The Office of the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh continues activities on collecting information about the Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians in Azerbaijan, Ombudsman of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan told Armenpress, adding that these studies are mainly being conducted based on the videos received from Azerbaijani open sources.
“In the recent period as an outcome of these studies we have mentioned presence of 60 Armenian prisoners of war and 40 captured civilians in Azerbaijan. However, these numbers are changing because we find new videos. Moreover, recently bodies of civilians have been returned by the Azerbaijani side. I want to state that our data on the number of the Armenian POWs has been obtained as a result of these studies, therefore, they are not final and should be confirmed officially. Therefore, I do not consider right to release numbers and other details now, despite the continuation of our studies, because it can negatively affect the fates of the POWs. Of course, the data we provide to relevant authorities, have a decisive influence on the search for the captured citizens and discovery of their fates”, the Artsakh Ombudsman said.
He informed that both during the war and afterwards his Office has presented the collected material to international organizations, however, they still now have not reacted to the facts about the Azerbaijani military crimes, including the torture and inhuman treatment against Armenian POWs and captured civilians.
As for the search operations for the missing Armenian soldiers, Beglaryan said many families of soldiers are applying to his Office these days on this issue.
“It’s very natural that their families are trying to get any information about the missing soldiers with all possible means. We see that some structures didn’t show a proper attitude to the families of the missing soldiers, which is unacceptable. Therefore, people are trying all possible means. They even release data in social networks trying in this way to get additional information. We all understand the wish of families of missing soldiers and POWs on getting any additional information. However, I again urge them not to release data about the missing soldiers and POWs as this can have a negative effect. They can apply to the Offices of the Ombudsmen of Armenia and Artsakh. The Defense Army’s respective commission and the International Committee of Red Cross are also dealing with the issues of the missing servicemen and POWs, with the assistance of the Russian peacekeepers”, Artak Beglaryan said, adding that the Azerbaijani side is creating artificial obstacles in the process of searching for missing soldiers.
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan