Serviceman with a white flag at the combat line. Photo: press service of the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan

15 August 2019, 18:59

Red Cross starts negotiations to meet Araik Gazaryan

Members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started negotiations with the Azerbaijani authorities concerning a meeting with Karabakh soldier Araik Gazaryan. Network users do not believe the version, according to which the soldier voluntary joined the side of Azerbaijan.

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 Investigating Committee of Armenia announced that Araik Gazaryan had got no bodily injuries before he crossed the border with Azerbaijan.

The ICRC has started bilateral negotiations in connection with the defection of Araik Gazaryan to the Azerbaijani side, said Ilakha Guseinova, the head of the Public Relations Department of the ICRC in Baku.

The members of the ICRC are engaged in a "confidential dialogue with the Azerbaijani side" to visit Araik Gazaryan, announces Zara Amatuni, the head of communication programmes of the ICRC delegation in Armenia.

The version stating that Araik Gazaryan voluntarily joined the Azerbaijani side aroused doubts, reported on August 13 an author of the blog "Upland Turns. Karabakh" on the "Caucasian Knot".

"I do not believe that the soldier surrendered by his own will. The border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is heavily guarded on both sides. The neutral section between the checkpoints is literally stuffed with mines. The soldier was born in 2000, how could he get an experience to pass through the minefield? Professional combat engineers make mistakes there, and he took and easily passed through it?" the author of the blog wrote in his post "How was the soldier captured?"

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 15, 2019 at 02:31 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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