BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.30
By Chingiz Safarli - Trend:
August 30 is the International Day of the Missing Persons, Trend reports.
According to the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, during the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Armenia took 3,890 Azerbaijani citizens hostage, including 3,171 servicemen and 719 civilians (71 children, 267 women, and 326 old people).
"Despite the end of the conflict, 3,890 Azerbaijanis out of thousands of our compatriots taken prisoner and hostage by Armenia during the conflict are still registered as missing. During its military aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia grossly violated many norms of international law, including the requirements of international humanitarian law. Despite the rules of war, civilians were captured or, in most cases, killed,” the commission said. “There are many facts of incredible torture of prisoners and hostages, as well as evidence that by blackmail these persons were forced to cooperate with the Armenian special services and incited to provocative and terrorist actions against Azerbaijan.”
The commission takes measures to return the mentioned persons to their homeland, to search for missing persons, coordinates work in this area with relevant government agencies, public and international organizations, collects information on the captured, taken hostage, and missing citizens, registers and systematizes it.
Azerbaijan is working at the international level to bring global attention to the issue of missing and taken hostage persons. On the initiative of Azerbaijan, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution in connection with the missing persons every two years. Azerbaijan is also the initiator of the resolution ‘On the release of women and children taken hostage’ adopted by the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
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, 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.
Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late September to early November 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.