Remains of rocket missile near Martuni (Khojavend), October 14, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

24 November 2020, 10:15

Yerevan rights defenders state problems with casualties' exchange

The specificities of the post-war situation and the Karabakh terrain reliefs complicate the search for the bodies of those perished in the conflict zone; in most cases, the remains can be identified only by DNA assays, said Zara Amatuni, an official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yerevan, and Artak Beglaryan, the Nagorno-Karabakh's Ombudsperson.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the bodies' exchange clause was included into the peace agreement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. The exchange of the dead began on November 13; by November 19, the parties to the Karabakh conflict handed over 385 bodies of the dead to each other; these are the casualties on both parties, said a source from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The search for the bodies is underway in complex conditions – both from the viewpoint of the post-war situation in general, and the complexity of the terrain, Ms Amatuni, the head of communication programmes of the ICRC's delegation in Armenia, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"The process of searching and exchanging the bodies of the dead servicemen is not limited by any timeframe. We assume that it will continue until the possibilities of a full-fledged search for remains have been exhausted to the maximum," she has explained.

Mr Beglaryan has no latest data on the number of bodies transferred by the parties within the humanitarian operation. "The process itself has no deadlines, since there are details that cannot be objectively pre-planned," he told the "Caucasian Knot".

DNA analysis is carried out to identify some of remains. "It is done when there are doubts or it is impossible to find out one's identity," Mr Beglaryan has explained.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 24, 2020 at 01:17 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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