The Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Armenia (RA), Arman Tatoyan, has responded to the statements of the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister regarding the rights of Armenian captives in Azerbaijan. We learn about this from the Ombudsman’s Facebook page.

“The RA Human Rights Defender records that the mentioned claims of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan grossly violate international humanitarian law, including human rights.

The reality is that there is an ongoing, open armed conflict. From the point of view of international [humanitarian] law, this means that whether or not they [the aforesaid Armenian captives] have been taken captive after the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement, they are captives in the legal status and must be released immediately, without any preconditions.

This issue is artificially delayed by the Azerbaijani authorities (…).

This, however, is a universal requirement for international action subject to be automatically applied. (…). The release and return of captives should be considered solely in the framework of human rights and the humanitarian process.

The absolute urgency of the issue of the release of captives must be considered also in the context of the policy of Armenophobia and enmity of the Azerbaijani authority agencies.

Therefore, taking into account the humanitarian mandates and role of international bodies in the matter of protection of human rights (the right to life, first), the RA Human Rights Defender draws their attention to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan’s abovementioned statement violating international humanitarian law, including human rights, raising the issue of urgent need to take decisive measures for the release and return of the [Armenian] captives, to stop the politicization of the issue,” the Armenian ombudsman wrote, in particular.