No:308/21, Information of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the conference held on 30 August organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and ADA University on the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and dedicated to persons missing as a result of the Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.
On August 30, 2021, a conference organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and ADA University on the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and dedicated to persons missing as a result of the Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan took place. The event was attended by the heads of departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Azerbaijan.
At the opening of the conference a minute of silence was observed in memory of all the martyrs who lost their lives as a result of the Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.
Delivering a welcoming speech, ADA University Executive Vice-Rector Fariz Ismailzade noted the organization of events in connection with the restoration and revival of Karabakh as well as the return of the IDPs to their ancestral homes by the University. He stressed the importance of the conference in terms of bringing the issue of missing persons to the attention of the world community.
Speaking at the panel discussions of the conference, Deputy Minister of Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elnur Mammadov provided detailed information about the gross violation of the principles of the international humanitarian law, wide usage of the practice of capturing hostages and prisoners of war among civilian and military persons and systematic policy of extermination of prisoners of war within the framework of Armenia’s aggressive policy, as well as the legal aspects of the issue of missing persons, cooperation with international organizations in this regard and etc.
In his speech, Secretary of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, head of the Working Group, Ismail Akhundov, has talked about crimes against humanity such as genocide and ethnic cleansing committed as a part of Armenia’s aggressive policy, inhumane treatment of hostage civilians, gathering information about the missing Azerbaijanis, appropriate measures taken to repatriate these persons and activity of the State Commission on effective organization of coordination with relevant local structures and international organizations.
Then, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Ombudsman), Sabina Aliyeva, in her speech, informed the event participants, focusing on protection of human rights of persons taken as prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons as a result of the aggression of Armenia against our country, about the activity for elimination of inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment against said persons, and especially the activity for their release and extradition to our country in cooperation with international organizations, including humanitarian organizations.
The event was also addressed by the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Azerbaijan Arian Bauer. She noted that for decades the ICRC has been cooperating with relevant government agencies to respond to the humanitarian consequences of the issue of missing persons. Saying that the issue of missing persons after the military operations in September of last year was in the spotlight of both the local and international community, the ICRC representative stressed the work done with the State Commission on obtaining information about missing persons.
The harsh story of Mushfiq Aliyev, a civilian released from captivity, whose family went missing during the occupation of Kalbajar region on March 31, 1993, was heard in the panel discussion.
After the speeches, a short film produced by the International Committee of the Red Cross was shown. The conference ended with Q&A session.
After the event, the conference participants proceeded to the photo and book exhibition dedicated to captive and missing Azerbaijanis.