Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) Artak Beglaryan issued a statement on Arayik Ghazaryan's case and condemned Azerbaijan's steps to make the serviceman a public interest and a propaganda tool, as reported the Office of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh.
The statement particularly reads as follows:
"On August 12, the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh officially informed that on the same day, a serviceman, Arayik Ghazaryan, had left the combat position in a still unknown situation. Then Azerbaijani media reported that he was in the territory of Azerbaijan by publishing some photos of A. Ghazaryan.
The Ombudsman condemns the Azerbaijani side's moves to make the Artsakhi soldier a subject of public interest and a propaganda tool. It has become a traditional practice in Azerbaijan to violate the rights of Armenian civilians and servicemen under international humanitarian law, who have appeared in its territory.
The Geneva Conventions provide for the protection of military servicemen (Geneva Convention 3, Article 13) and civilians (Geneva Convention 4, Article 27) in the territory of the Party in the armed conflict from public curiosity. In fact, this humanitarian norm is important not only to keep this vulnerable group away from the possible negative attitudes of the public, but also to make it a propaganda tool in the conflict situation.
In these cases, it is important that international organizations respond promptly to the situation and prevent further violations against Arayik Ghazaryan. In this regard, the Ombudsman is in contact with relevant state and international bodies and ready to assist in the positive resolution of the situation within his powers."