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Azerbaijan has concealed the number of Armenian prisoners of war. Before the incident that took place on Nov. 16, based on confirmed data, 40 prisoners of war are held in Azerbaijan, but this is not the real number. At least another 80 are in captivity, but Azerbaijan refuses to officially state that they are captives. There is no information about their destinies to date. They are either held in captivity or killed. This is what advocate for the Armenian prisoners of war in the European Court of Human Rights Siranush Sahakyan said during today’s discussion.

She expressed regret that the officially declared number is inaccurate and says she is surprised why inaccurate numbers have been announced. “Azerbaijan also hasn’t confirmed the number of those who were captured after the Nov. 16 incident, and representatives of the Red Cross haven’t visited them in Baku. “Based on the studies of human rights activists, 32-33 servicemen were captured,” Sahakyan said, adding that the Armenian side is in an unmatched position with Azerbaijan in the sense that it is paying analytical centers and lawyers to present the reality in favor of Baku.

“In the context of application of dual standards, the International Court of The Hague rejected Armenia’s request to release the Armenian POWs held in Azerbaijan immediately. This goes to show that Armenia needs to rely on itself. Nevertheless, it is necessary to positively assess the fact that The Hague obliged Azerbaijan to ensure equality before the law and refrain from using violence. This doesn’t mean that violence is ruled out in Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan continues to use violence against the prisoners of war under international protection and if this is documented again, there will be more international pressure to hold Azerbaijani officials, soldiers or representatives of the army liable. These actions will be interpreted as not only actions against the Armenians, but also actions against the reputation of international courts,” Sahakyan concluded.

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