No:239/21, Commentary of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry dated June 18, 2021
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, in its statement dated June 18, 2021, accuses Azerbaijan of persecuting persons accused of committing war crimes, terrorist acts, fighting on behalf of Armenia as mercenaries, illegally operating in the territory of Azerbaijan during the 44-day war.
The persons mentioned in the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry as “prisoners of war” and “civilians” are persons accused of committing premeditated murder, torture, terror acts and other crimes on the territory of Azerbaijan during hostilities and after the signing of a trilateral statement on the cessation of operations. Of course, Azerbaijan has both the right and the international obligation to bring these individuals to justice under international law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, and domestic law.
As for the Armenians currently detained and investigated by the Azerbaijani side, we remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that a group of these people are members of a terrorist group that entered the territory of Azerbaijan after the signing of the trilateral statement on November 10, 2020, and as a result of this group's provocative activities 4 servicemen of Azerbaijan were killed and one civilian was seriously injured. The accused Lebanese citizen of Armenian origin took part in the battles against Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians during the 44-day war as a foreign mercenary. The other two Armenian citizens are persons accused of torturing Azerbaijani civilians and servicemen during the First Karabakh War.
We would like to emphasize that the allegations about the secrecy of the whereabouts of Armenians detained in Azerbaijan are completely false. As already mentioned in the official statements, Azerbaijan has fulfilled all the requirements related to the state of detention of these persons. Even the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Azerbaijan Human Rights Ombudsperson held regular meetings with detainees and medical documents on the state of health of these persons were presented.
Based on the principles of humanism, Azerbaijan has handed over to Armenia some of the detained Armenians so far.
And in response, the steps of the Armenian side are obvious. Armenia, which only handed over mine maps on the Aghdam region to Azerbaijan, hides numerous mine maps and refuses to give them to the Azerbaijani side, as openly acknowledged by high-ranking officials of this country. Until now, there is no information about the fate of about 4,000 Azerbaijanis who went missing in the first Karabakh war. The mass grave discovered in the village of Bashlibel of the Kalbajar region after the liberation of our territories is a clear proof of the war crimes committed by Armenia and Armenia's concealment of information about missing Azerbaijanis.
Before starting to talk about violations of international law, the Armenian Foreign Ministry must bear in mind that for almost 30 years the Republic of Armenia has been violating the principles of international law, in particular the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, grossly violating the fundamental rights of up to one million people.