Azerbaijan MFA reacts to claims of EU's Borrell

  21 June 2024    Read: 873
  Azerbaijan MFA reacts to claims of EU

Unfortunately, this response is yet another attempt by the EU High Representative to satisfy Armenians and make claims that have no moral or factual basis, and Azerbaijan denies these false and inflammatory allegations, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry declared this in response to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the EU Commission Josep Borrell's questions to the European Parliament members about "Armenian prisoners," AzVision.az reports.

"After the 2020 war, as a humanitarian gesture and following its obligations under international humanitarian law, Azerbaijan released and repatriated more than 200 Armenians considered prisoners of war or detainees. All Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held in Azerbaijan were treated following the requirements of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and were not subjected to torture, humiliation, or inhuman treatment.

Each of them had been provided with medical care while under arrest, they had undergone examinations, and the ICRC had held regular meetings with them and ensured contact with their families. Nevertheless, after they were returned from Azerbaijan to Armenia, some of these persons were arrested and interrogated by the Armenian authorities.

The remaining imprisoned war criminals, separatist leaders, and other persons of Armenian origin are either accused of war crimes, ethnic cleansing, military aggression, torture, and other serious crimes, have already been convicted of these crimes, or are still under investigation.

Following the Geneva Conventions, as well as international and national legislation in general, Azerbaijan has rights and obligations to investigate and prosecute such crimes. Such arrests have a full legal basis and do not infringe on the rights of the detainees.

Even if the detainees are prisoners of war, under Geneva Convention III, prisoners of war who are prosecuted for an offense for which they may be charged may be detained until a trial such as this one is completed and, if appropriate, until the completion of their sentence.

Furthermore, it would be more appropriate to draw the EU's attention to the evidence of the Armenian side's ill-treatment of Azerbaijani prisoners of war and civilian detainees, as well as missing Azerbaijanis. Since the beginning of Armenia's military aggression, more than 3,890 Azerbaijanis have gone missing, and their fate remains unknown. Out of the missing, 3,171 are military personnel, and 719 (including 71 children, 267 women, and 326 elderly) are civilians.

Regarding comments on ensuring the rights of Armenians resettled in Armenia and other countries, it is important to recall that despite Azerbaijan's appeal for reintegration, program, and steps in this direction, local persons of Armenian origin have decided to leave Azerbaijan and not return. Unfortunately, in almost 30 years, we have not witnessed any concerns or appeals from the EU regarding the rights of the nearly one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons who were forcibly and ruthlessly evicted from their homes.

Azerbaijan expects that at this crucial moment, the EU will refrain from biased statements undermining peace efforts in the region," the statement reads.


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