WASHINGTON, DC — The Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights (ALC) demands action by the United States and European authorities to immediately pressure Azerbaijan to comply with the Geneva Conventions and the terms of the November 9th trilateral ceasefire statement requiring the unconditional release of Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and hostages. In recent weeks, American and European authorities have praised Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s conditional bargaining over Armenian POWs and hostages that Azerbaijan is, in any event, obligated to release under international law.
“Rather than strengthening the 1949 Geneva Conventions and universal values of human rights and justice, recent statements from American and European authorities allow Azerbaijan to continue to detain Armenian POWs, kidnap additional hostages during attacks on Armenian territory, and stage sham trials based on fabricated statements and evidence,” stated ALC chairperson Kenneth Hachikian. “It is outrageous and deeply disturbing to praise such behavior and allow one of the world’s most infamous dictators, Ilham Aliyev, to use human lives as a bargaining chip and trample its obligations in international humanitarian law. The international community, by its actions, is encouraging the ongoing blackmail by Azerbaijan.”
ALC has partnered with the International & Comparative Law Center (ICLaw) based in Yerevan, Armenia, to file cases and advocate before the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of nearly 100 Armenian POWs taken captive by Azerbaijan. Recently, ICLaw, with the support of ALC, filed seven additional cases and gathered information on 90 additional POWs held by Azerbaijan. As more information is obtained, ICLaw and ALC will continue to pursue both the freedom and the right to life of all Armenian POWs.