Armenian Soldier Captured Crossing Azeri Border

YEREVAN (A.W.)—On the night of August 7, Hakob Injighulyan, an Armenian citizen and an army conscript, crossed the Azeri border and was subsequently captured by Azeri soldiers. According to preliminary

Hakob Injighulyan
Hakob Injighulyan

information, Injighulyan had lost his bearings on the terrain and inadvertently crossed the line of contact. An investigation is underway in order to determine the details of the incident and adopt the necessary measures for the safety of the captive, according to the Armenian Ministry of Defense.

So far, neither the office of the Minsk Group in Baku, nor the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation have visited the Armenian captive. On the other hand, an Azerbaijani media outlet, “,” has published a video-interview on the net, which displays Injighulyan wearing the Azeri military uniform. In the video, he claims that his border-trespassing was caused by a dispute with his commander who had ordered him to fetch water in the late afternoon. The Armenian authorities consider the publication of the video and Injighulyan’s appearance in it as violations of articles, 13, 27 and 7 of the Geneva Convention, which guarantees the welfare and full protection of captives, especially from the media. It also prohibits their appearance in the detainer’s military uniform.

The Armenian authorities are making an effort to deter any violent act that could lead to the death of the captive, something that occurred in 2008 and 2010 with two other Armenian captives when again, the ICRC office in Baku failed to visit them. Thereby, the Armenian Commission on POWs, detainees and those missing in action expressed their concern about the situation and asked the ICRC to strengthen its efforts to visit Hakob Injighulyan.

Azeri news sources claim that the reason that compelled the Armenian Solider to pass the border to Azerbaijan was humiliation and insult from his commander. Moreover, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reports that the appearance of the soldier at the time of his capture was “pathetic.”

The derogatory expressions and terms used as propaganda tools by the Azerbaijani authorities intend to demoralize first of all the captive and second, present a negative picture of the Armenian Army.


Varak Ketsemanian

Varak Ketsemanian is a graduate of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2014-2016). His master’s thesis titled “Communities in Conflict: the Hunchakian Revolutionary Party 1890-1894” examines the socio-economic role of violence in shaping inter-communal and ethnic relations by doing a local history of the Armenian Revolutionary Movement in the Ottoman Empire. Ketsemanian’s work tackles problems such as the development and polarization of mainstream historiographies, inter-communal stratifications, nationalism, and the relationship of the Ottoman State with some of its Anatolian provinces. He is currently completing a PhD at Princeton University, where his doctoral dissertation will focus on the social history of the National Constitution of Ottoman Armenians in 1863, and the communal dynamics/mechanisms that it created on imperial, communal, and provincial levels. Ketsemanian’s research relates to the development of different forms of nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, revolutionary violence, and constitutional movements.


    • the turkish shepherd, if he was one, may or may not have been armed.
      do you know for a fact he was unarmed ? were you there with him ?
      as to the Armenian soldier: once he crossed the LOC, armed or not, he could have been legitimately shot by the Azerbaijani side.
      (…although Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire with Armenians in 1994: nevertheless, a soldier on the LOC can expect to get shot by the adversary; unfortunate reality.)
      Azerbaijan has killed dozens of Armenian soldiers on the LOC. So them not shooting Hakob Injighulyan is very good for the young man, but is not indicative of a sudden burst of Azerbaijani goodwill. Azerbaijanis had their own reasons for not shooting him, and it certainly is not because of any humanitarian concerns.
      In 2010, a young Armenian shepherd got lost and inadvertently crossed into Azerbaijan.
      His name was Manvel Saribekyan. 20-year-old young man. Only son and sole support for his impoverished family.
      He was captured by Azerbaijanis, beaten and tortured for days, then ‘confessed’ on TV as supposedly being a ‘saboteur’ and ‘spy’.
      Later on he was ‘suicided’.
      Azerbaijanis would not return his body for more than a month, while they tried to conceal the signs of torture.
      To no avail: forensic examination later on in Armenia clearly proved he was tortured and murdered.

    • The supposed “unarmed shepherd” was killed by Russians crossing a border that was closed by you Turks.

      How is any of that Armenians fault?

  1. Let’s see … You guys killed a shepherd crossing a non-war border, and our Azeri soldiers were humane enough to ask questions first before shooting. I do hope they release this kid, and I am sure they will. And it is interesting for Armenians to cite international law when it suits them. There are over 600k Azeri refugees expelled from their homelands in Karabak, from the kind of places where this Armenian military personal was located as an occupant prior to capture.

    Also, I would not make it sound as outlandish that he may have crossed sides on purpose due to hazing. It is common knowledge that this type of hazing happens (on both sides). It is possible that he was being treated by his commanders so badly that crossing to the Azeri side seemed a lesser of two evils.

    • You guys murdered an Armenian shepherd, Manvel Saribekyan, in 2010.
      He was tortured for days, and then allegedly committed suicide.
      So spare us about the humanity of Azerbaijani soldiers.
      Azerbaijan has killed dozens of Armenian soldier at the LOC over the years. (…and Armenians have killed many more in retaliation).
      Azerbaijan has its own reasons for not killing Hakob Injighulyan: whatever the reason, we are very happy he is alive.
      We are also happy that an Azerbaijani soldier who crossed the LOC in 2012, Firuz Faragev, is also alive and well.
      He is currently in Armenia.
      There are talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia on a possible exchange.
      I have to say that him getting lost and crossing into Azerbaijan does not sound very plausible.
      Possible, but not plausible.
      Why would a soldier on the very dangerous LOC be allowed to wander about by himself at 3AM in the morning and get lost ?
      Young men sometimes do crazy things under stress.
      He may have had a momentary lapse of judgment.

    • anton,

      Do you see the difference between the initiators of savagery as in Sumgait, Kirovabad, Maragha, and Baku—and before that during the Hamidian massacres, the Adana massacre, and the Armenian genocide—and the retaliators? What does it say about the characteristics of the Turkish/Azeri nation? What kind of nation are they? Humane or indescribably savage?

  2. I stongly believe that Hakob Injighulyan was kidnapped by Axeri soldiers. Hakob,stay strong your people will be praying for your safe return.

  3. I did not know, that captured young Armenian soldier is so important, for the sheikhdom people, that even oil dictator made a showcase showdown out of him in Baku!! He is hoping that some European color commentators will watch, and make some nice comments about his Royal family, and corrupted dictatorial regime!!

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