YEREVAN, JANUARY 25, ARMENPRESS. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave a priority to the investigation of cases relating to the Armenian prisoners of war who are currently in Azerbaijan, therefore, these cases must be investigated in a shorter period of time, Human rights advocate Siranush Sahakyan, who represents the interests of the Armenian POWs in the ECHR, told Armenpress.
She stated that the Azerbaijani government has officially accepted at the ECHR the facts of holding several persons captive.
“The ECHR has summed up the data, and revealing some problems, has sent additional inquiries to the Azerbaijani government. We are waiting for Azerbaijan’s position on these matters”, she said.
Sahakyan stated that the status of 62 Armenian servicemen who were captured by Azerbaijan in Khtsaberd needs clarification. “According to our estimates, they are classical prisoners of war, of course, we do not rule out that Azerbaijan will go to speculations and will try to present them as terrorists, criminals to the international community”, the attorney said, adding that in terms of legal processes the citizens of Armenia will be protected, however, she noted, Azerbaijan will try to prolong the process.
“Azerbaijan will try to prolong the process with the use of domestic state means and show at the European Court that there are ongoing internal state procedures, it is necessary to wait for their end and then give an assessment, however, now we have a formed practice that any mechanism of Azerbaijan cannot be considered effective over Armenians because there is a state-level anti-Armenian policy, containing also hatred. In such case we can directly seek an international judicial protection”, she said, adding that in any case the legal process will require 1-2 years.
Asked how many captives have been confirmed by Azerbaijan through the ECHR, she stated: “As for the judicial process I can say that we have 8 captives who have not been returned yet, but as for the extra-judicial confirmations, it will be right if the state representatives talk about this”.
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan