July 6, 2021 – 17:41 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – In Azerbaijan, Armenian prisoners of war testify under threat of life, Siranush Sahakyan, a human rights lawyer and the representative of the interests of relatives of Armenian PoWs at the ECHR has said, according to PastInfo.
According to her, the trials of the Armenian captives in Baku fit into Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian policy, but are mainly aimed at substantiating Azerbaijan’s position.
Sahakyan noted that Baku proceeds quite primitively, citing certain patterns, according to which an elderly person could have participated in the first Karabakh war, and therefore, is a good case for fabricated accusations and their presentation to the international community. The human rights lawyer said though that legally, the results of these trials cannot be recognized, since they are conducted in violation of the fundamental rights of the PoWs.
Dozens of videos of Azeri troops cutting the throats and ears of Armenians have been spreading online since the final days of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Azerbaijanis subject the Armenian POWs and captives to physical abuse and humiliation. The videos depict Azerbaijani captors variously slapping, kicking, and prodding Armenian POWs, and compelling them, under obvious duress and with the apparent intent to humiliate, to kiss the Azerbaijani flag. In most of the videos, the captors’ faces are visible, suggesting that they did not fear being held accountable.
Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 Armenians still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers.