The representatives of the Office of Human Rights Defender of Armenia had private conversations with all the 17 Armenian prisoners of war who were captured by the Azerbaijani armed forces on September 13, 2022 and have been repatriated recently. During these talks, the staffers of the Ombudswoman’s Office have gathered data about the torture, ill treatment and other cruel treatment against the Armenian servicemen (in the period from capture to repatriation), Ombudswoman Kristinne Grigoryan.

“The information gained as a result of these conversations has been summed up and combined with the information provided by families of the captured persons to the representatives of the Defender, as well as it was combinted with the videos made during the capture of the Armenian servicemen available in different social platforms and media sources. Moreover, this information was also combined with the results of other monitoring activities carried out by the Office of the Defender, with the information existing in individual letters addressed to the Defender and with the videos, photos, reports and other information existing especially in Azerbaijani media outlets, social platforms, including on Telegram channels”, Grigoryan said.

Based on the abovementioned information and facts the Human Rights Defender has prepared an ad hoc non-public report entitled “Cruel treatment and torture against Armenian captives as a manifestation of anti-Armenian policy of Azerbaijan”.

“The report touches upon the torture, ill treatment committed against the Armenian captives in Azerbaijan, substantiates the direct causal link of the hatred policy of the Azerbaijani authorities to such treatment and brutality against the Armenian captives. The report also touches upon not only the actions of the Azerbaijani military, law enforcement agencies and other state servants, but also the attitude of medics to the Armenian prisoners of war receiving treatment in Azerbaijani hospitals because of their capture and the unacceptable cases there. The report presents the Azerbaijani torture, ill and inhumane treatment against the Armenian captives in phases and based on the treatment done by the Azerbaijani relevant authorities. First of all, the period of capture and transportation to a military facility is presented, in other words, this stage is about the attitude demonstrated by the Azerbaijani military.

The next stage is being in the Azerbaijani law enforcement agency which presents the treatment of the law enforcement agencies, and the next one is the stage of being in a prison or in a hospital.

Given that the report contains descriptions and photos of inhumane, ill treatment against the Armenian prisoners of war, desecration of the bodies of the fallen Armenian servicemen, it is presented in a closed format taking into account the sensitivity of the topic, the nature of photos and videos”, Kristinne Grigoryan said.

The report will be sent to Ambassadors accredited in Armenia, international organizations and officials, as well as other international players. It will also be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Speaker of Parliament, the Secretary of the Security Council and the Defense Ministry.

As for the reactions by international partners and leading human rights organizations, the Armenian Ombudswoman said that she has been in constant touch with the international diplomatic organizations having a mandate to protect and guarantee human rights, the embassies in Armenia and a number of human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Bellingcat, Amnesty International, both during the military operations of September and after that.

“The torture, inhumane and ill treatment against the Armenian POWs, the videos showing the extrajudicial killings, the information collected by the Office of the Defender, including the possible coordinates of the shooting of videos, the dates of the incidents and other data have been presented to these organizations. It was followed by publication of research on extrajudicial killings by human rights organizations”, the Ombudswoman said.

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