Baku, Azerbaijan, July 17
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:
The committee to protect the rights of Azerbaijanis taken hostage by Armenians in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar region, has appealed to some international organizations, committee member Elkhan Salahov told reporters at a press conference on July 17.
The committee has appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group, UN and other international organizations.
Salahov said that three Azerbaijanis (Dilgam Ahmadov, Shahbaz Guliyev and Hasan Hasanov), visiting the graves of their relatives, were taken hostage by the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar region on July 10, despite the fact that they haven't violated Armenia's state border and were in their homeland.
Armenia's aggressive policy resulted in violation of the rights of Azerbaijanis; they were deprived of the opportunity to normally move in the territory of their homeland and visit the graves of their relatives, according to the committee member.
Salahov said the Armenian side stated that the Azerbaijanis taken hostage in their homeland are 'the servicemen of Azerbaijani armed forces'.
During the press conference, Salahov read out the text of the committee's appeal to the international organizations.
"We urge the international organizations and the international community to condemn Armenia's actions contradicting with the principles of humanism and the international law; to take serious steps to return the Azerbaijanis taken hostage in the Kalbajar region, to their families," the appeal said.
The authors of the appeal urge the international organizations to become familiar with the detention conditions of three Azerbaijanis taken hostage by Armenians, confirm the facts of torture of the mentioned Azerbaijanis and ensure their return to their families in the shortest possible time.
A number of Azerbaijani MPs, public figures, internally displaced persons, as well as the country's media representatives signed the appeal which condemns Armenia's aggressive policy against Azerbaijan and its citizens.
Member of Azerbaijani parliament (Milli Majlis), Aydin Mirzazade, for his part, stressed that by taking hostage the civilians in the Azerbaijani territory, Armenians have violated the international law.
He underscored that even the 'fascists' were not evicting the population from the occupied territories during the World War II.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.