PACE releases appeal over Azerbaijani hostages in Armenian captivity
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
As part of the PACE summer session, the Azerbaijani delegation held an event dedicated to Azerbaijani civilians Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who are in Armenian captivity, Trend reports.
At the event, the information was provided about hard conditions of detention of Azerbaijani hostages and that their lives and health are under threat.
The participants of the event sent a corresponding appeal to secretary general of the Council of Europe, the PACE and the ombudsman. It was signed by MEPs and posted on the PACE website.
The appeal refers to the conditions under which Azerbaijani citizens were taken hostage, and calls for their release.
July 11, 2019 will mark five years since the Azerbaijani civilians Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev were taken hostage while visiting the graves of their relatives in the occupied Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan, according to the appeal.
“They represent a community of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis forcibly displaced from their native lands as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” reads the appeal. “We are deeply concerned that all calls to release them have been rejected so far. We acknowledge the fact that in 2015 their application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights.”
“As we were reminded at the event hosted by the delegation of Azerbaijan to the Parliamentary Assembly on June 25, the humanitarian case of Asgarov and Guliyev deserves a strong reaction from the international community to put an end to their life-threatening desperate situation,” the appeal reads. ‘We therefore urge the Assembly, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Commissioner for Human Rights to seize this matter to ensure their immediate and unconditional release, in order to restore their violated rights. We also look forward to seeing the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights concerning their case.”
During an operation in July 2014 in Shaplar village of Azerbaijani Kalbajar district occupied by Armenia, Armenian special forces killed an Azerbaijani Hasan Hasanov, and took hostage two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A "criminal case" was initiated against them. Afterwards, a "court" sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.