Azerbaijan abuses Armenian prisoners of war: pictures and videos exposed – politics abroad

Azerbaijan abuses Armenian prisoners of war: pictures and videos exposed – politics abroad

Azerbaijan abuses Armenian prisoners of war: pictures and videos exposed – politics abroad

Even before the armistice between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the war for the Nagorno-Karabakh region (November 10), more and more gruesome videos appeared on social media (including Telegram) in which the Azerbaijani military abuse, beat, kick and force Armenian prisoners of war.

The human rights organization “Human Rights Watch” (HRW) first reported on this.

Human rights violators (without disguise!) Can be seen on videos, forcing prisoners to kiss the Azerbaijani flag, praise its president, insult the Armenian prime minister and label Nagorno Karabakh as Azerbaijani.

The fact that they do NOT cover their face shows how safe they feel about it – and that they are unlikely to fear any punishment for their inhuman behavior.
Around 40 Armenian families have now asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for help. According to the authorities, at least 60 soldiers are currently still in Azerbaijani captivity. In addition, almost 40 civilians have been captured or disappeared.

According to the Karabakh authorities, more than 1,740 soldiers died in the fighting on the Armenian side.

Among the victims of abuse:

► According to HRW research, a video (from October 25) shows Michael Martirosyan (21) and Ludvig Mkrtchyan (51). Together with six other soldiers, they lie handcuffed and blindfolded on the floor of their prison. Again and again the military kick them, pull them around, climb on their bodies, push them with a sharp metal rod. To hear: the desperate cries of the prisoners.

After the European Court of Human Rights intervened in the case, Martirosyan’s wounds were treated on November 9th. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross were allowed to visit Mkrtchyan on November 29th.

► Also Areg Sargsyan (19) experienced physical and psychological abuse. Videos show his guards forcing him to praise Azerbaijan and the country’s president. Another video is reminiscent of the kidnapping videos of terrorists. Visibly exhausted, disoriented and under stress, he turns away from Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (45) and condemns him for the war. The Azerbaijani state television broadcasts the propaganda.

Sargsyan has been in hospital since October 18 at the latest.

► In addition to three other Armenian soldiers also learned Eric Khachaturyan (18) and Robert Vardanyan (20) mistreatment. Recordings show how soldiers celebrating and dancing – possibly after a military success in October – abuse the prisoners, hit an Armenian on the head and force them to say “Nagorno Karabakh is Azerbaijan”.

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Another video shows Eric, whose neck is being held by soldiers while someone hits his head. A visibly abused Robert Vardanyan (bruises and dirt on his face) had to endure the same, while the other prisoners clapped and celebrated Azerbaijan’s success.

“There can be no justification for the violent and humiliating treatment of prisoners of war,” said Hugh Williamson, director of Human Rights Watch for the European and Central Asian region. He demands: “The Azerbaijani authorities should immediately ensure that this behavior ends immediately.”

The third agreement of the Geneva Conventions forbids all parties to the conflict to deal with prisoners of war in this way. Article 13 says: “Prisoners of war are to be treated with humanity at all times. Any unauthorized act or omission on the part of the detaining state, which results in the death or a serious endangerment of the health of a prisoner of war in their custody, is prohibited and is to be regarded as a serious violation of the present agreement.

Violence on both sides

The online portal “T-online.de” has seen more footage of the Azerbaijani military. The recordings show a spiral of violence that can hardly be put into words.

► In a particularly cruel video, an Armenian soldier is forced to say the words “Azerbaijan is Nagorno-Karabakh” into the camera. A cut later he is dead – impaled with a wooden slat.

► According to consistent media reports, the Azerbaijani military also shot elderly men after their villages had been captured and set houses on fire. There are also pictures that document real orgies of violence: Elderly people are beaten, mistreated, and sometimes even mutilated.

It is also clear that the conflict generated hatred, abuse and death on both sides – the 44-day war stole the lives of many, mostly young people. Many soldiers are still missing. Armenian soldiers also committed war crimes against their opponents, as documented by videos.

At a meeting with the Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan spoke out in favor of exchanging prisoners of war on both sides on the principle of “all for all”. In the past few days, Armenia has repeatedly accused Azerbaijan of delaying the exchange of prisoners.

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