Soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh. October 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

01 December 2020, 11:10

Armenia: rights defenders reproach authorities for indifference to POWs' exchange

The Armenian authorities are making insufficient efforts to return the prisoners of war (POWs), Nina Karapetyants believes. Results in POWs exchange can be achieved through a direct dialogue of the parties in conflict, Arthur Sakunts has noted. POWs can be used to solve some issues, for example, territorial ones, Artak Kirakosyan is sure.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 30, rights defenders asked France and Russia to help in returning POWs.

The Vanadzor Office of the Helsinki Civil Assembly has provided the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with a list of 586 soldiers who had gone missing, Arthur Sakunts, the head of the Office, has explained. According to his story, since the start of the war, 666 people have applied to the Office and reported about their missing relatives.

According to Mr Sakunts, it is possible to achieve results in POWs' and bodies' exchange by establishing a direct dialogue of parties in conflict with the mediation of Moscow, Brussels or Washington.

Nina Karapetyants, the head of the Helsinki Association of Armenia, believes that the state is making insufficient efforts to return the captures militaries and civilians. In her opinion, the authorities are not taking steps to involve international organizations such as the OSCE in problem-solving.

Ms Karapetyants also treats it unlikely that the missing servicemen will be found alive.

Artak Kirakosyan, head of the Civil Society Institute, did not rule out that Armenian authorities refrain from publishing data on POWs and missing soldiers because of their large number.

Ani Samsonyan, a member of the parliamentary commission on human rights, has stated that, according to some sources, up to 150 Armenian soldiers may be held captive in Azerbaijan.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 1, 2020 at 05:28 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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