ICRC to meet detained Azerbaijanis in occupied lands

Photo: ICRC to meet detained Azerbaijanis in occupied lands / Nagorno-karabakh conflict

The Yerevan Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is in talks to arrange a meeting with Azerbaijanis detained in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, ArmInfo reported on July 21.

The report cited the Communication Programs Correspondent of the ICRC Armenia Office, Zara Amatuni.

Amatuni said the ICRC is working under its mandate, as well as within the Geneva Convention, and does its utmost to meet with detainees.

In this context, Amatuni added that the ICRC mandate does not include a specific timeframe of this or that meeting, and it all depends on the concrete situation.

Earlier, Armenian media reported that the Armenian forces, during an operation in the occupied Kalbajar District's Shaplar village, killed an Azerbaijani - Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis - Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. They also reported about the launching of criminal cases against the detained Azerbaijanis.

Armenian media also reported that one Armenian officer was killed and his wife was wounded during the capture of Azerbaijanis.

On July 15, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People said the fate of Azerbaijani citizens taken hostages in the Kalbajar District, is its priority.

The ICRC Baku Office Communication Department's Head, Ilaha Huseynova told Trend on July 16 that the families of Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, officially appealed to the ICRC.

She added that currently the ICRC continues talks with the parties on this matter.

Previously, it was reported that Azerbaijan appealed to the ICRC to clarify the media reports on the hostage-taking of Azerbaijani citizens by the Armenian side. The appeal contained a request to carry out the necessary procedures in accordance with the ICRC's mandate, in case if the information is confirmed.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry dismissed the Armenian media reports on affiliation of the mentioned persons to the country's armed forces.

The ministry also stated that the occupied lands are the territories of sovereign Azerbaijan, and a ban cannot be imposed on free movement of Azerbaijanis in these territories.

Despite the claims of the Armenian side, these individuals did not violate the state border, because the lands controlled by the illegal "fictitious" regime, are the Azerbaijani territories recognized by the UN, the ministry said.

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.

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