Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
Azerbaijan and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will make a joint statement on July 23 on the fate of the Azerbaijani, who according to the Armenian media, was killed by the Armenian servicemen in Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar region.
The remarks were made by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov at the commemoration ceremony in connection with the 21st anniversary of occupation of Azerbaijan's Aghdam region.
Hasanov pointed out that the Azerbaijani side frequently holds meetings with the ICRC representatives to have discussions on Azerbaijanis taken hostage in the Kalbajar region.
He went on to add that the captured Azerbaijanis are subject to pressure and torture by Armenians, stressing that the Geneva Convention stipulates the rules for treatment of civilians taken hostage by the conflicting parties.
"So much time has passed! Why doesn't the Armenian side allow the ICRC representatives to meet with the captured Azerbaijanis? Because they do whatever they want; they torture the hostages to make them speak and inject them with various unknown substances," he noted.
Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister urged media, as well as the friends and relatives of the hostages to show patience, as this issue is in the focus of attention of Azerbaijani president from the very beginning and the government is engaged in addressing this problem under the president's instructions.
Hasanov underscored that upon receiving a serious warning, the ICRC made appropriate conclusions and started acting, adding that the statement to be made today can be seen as a result of these actions.
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.
Ilaha Huseynova told Trend on July 16 that the families of Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, have officially appealed to the ICRC.
She added that currently the ICRC continues talks with the parties on this matter.
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry dismissed the Armenian media reports on affiliation of the mentioned persons to the country's armed forces.
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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