The relatives of the prisoners of war blocking the entrance to the administration of the Shirak Region and policemen. Screenshot: Sputnik Armenia

14 April 2021, 11:06

POWs' relatives refuse to unblock administration of Shirak Region

The relatives of the prisoners of war (POWs), who block the entrance to the administration of the Shirak Region, demand from the authorities to announce the actions taken to free their relatives from captivity. The efforts to return POWs from Azerbaijan are not advertised, so as not to harm the POWs themselves, Nina Karapetyants, a human rights defender, and Naira Zograbyan, an MP, have noted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 8, relatives of the Armenian prisoners of war began a protest action at the Erebuni airport after they received information that a plane, which had arrived from Azerbaijan, had not delivered any prisoners of war. On April 13, relatives of the Armenian military servicemen, who occurred in the Azerbaijani captivity, blocked the entrance to the administration of the Shirak Region, demanding a meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia.

At night on April 14, relatives of the Armenian POWs continued blocking the administration building. The governor and other employees stay in the building, the Gyumri-based Gala-TV reports.

Relatives demand a meeting with the Premier, Nikol Pashinyan, and Vagarshak Arutyunyan, the Armenia Minister of Defence. Agents of the National Security Service (NSS) tried to persuade the protesters to unblock the building, but to no avail.

The works on the return of POWs, conducted at the state level, are not disclosed, Nina Karapetyants, a rights defender and the head of the Helsinki Association in Armenia, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

She has added that the work of Armenian NGOs with international structures is also not advertised, since the Azerbaijani party interferes with the process. "I suppose that the authorities, based on this logic, refrain from publicizing their work in this direction, which I think is the right approach," Ms Karapetyants believes.

There are no exact figures for the Armenian POWs, Naira Zograbyan, an MP from the "Prosperous Armenia" faction, who chairs the standing commission on human rights defence and public issues, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Ms Zograbyan also sticks to the opinion that it is unreasonable to publicly declare the actions on POWs' liberation "in order not to harm them."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 14, 2021 at 03:24 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Armine Martirosyan Source: CK correspondent

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