15 August 2019, 08:23

Armenian investigators deny Azerbaijan's version of traces of beatings on Gazaryan's body

Prior to crossing the border with Azerbaijan, the Armenian soldier, Araik Gazaryan, had no bodily injuries, the Investigating Committee (IC) of Armenia has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 12, the press service of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) reported that Araik Gazaryan, a soldier of the Defence Army, deserted to the side of Azerbaijan. The soldier said that he fled because of the lawlessness in his military unit, the Azerbaijani MoD has asserted, claiming that he "was subjected to physical and moral pressure by his commanders, as evidenced by haematomas on his head and injuries on his body."

On August 14, the Armenia's IC issued a message refuting the statement of the Azerbaijani MoD that Araik Gazaryan had been injured before crossing the border. "Prior to crossing the border, Gazaryan had no bodily injuries either in the area of his nape, or on the thigh, or in other parts of the body," says the message, a translation of which was made by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Karen Ovannisyan, a military expert, said that he saw a photograph of Araik Gazaryan with a raised white flag, provided by the Azerbaijani side, but thinks that the photo was staged. "A person, who is a little familiar with combat posts, will immediately say that a soldier with a white flag cannot occur in such a place ... It is still unknown whether Gazaryan has voluntarily left his combat post and surrendered to Azerbaijanis, or he was kidnapped in a diversion. Nevertheless, he ended up on the enemy's side; and Azerbaijanis are once again using this fact for their propaganda," the "ArmDaily.am" quotes Mr Ovannisyan as saying.

He believes that the Armenian side has no chances to return the soldier to his homeland.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 14, 2019 at 09:02 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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