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Artsakh authorities ready to negotiate early release of one Azerbaijani citizen
2018-12-05 12:48:53

The Artsakh authorities are ready to consider the possibility of early release of Elnur Huseynzade - one of the three Azerbaijani citizens, who serve their sentences in Artsakh, Spokesman for the Artsakh Foreign Ministry Artak Nersisyan said in comments to Tert.am.

He added that the authorities never negotiate the release or exchange of Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev – the two other Azerbaijani citizens jailed in Artsakh.

Moreover, he said “the calls for their release are an obvious encouragement of impunity and permissiveness, as it happened in the case of the murderer, Ramil Safarov [who axed Armenian Officer Gurgen Margaryan during NATO training in Budapest]. It is obvious that Azerbaijan once again tries to speculate with humanitarian issues for its political goals,” Nersisyan added.

The comments come in the wake of calls by the Azerbaijani party to exchange the Armenians held hostage in Azerbaijan for the Azerbaijani citizens convicted in Artsakh under the “all for all” principle.

According to a court decision, three citizens of Azerbaijan serve their sentences in Artsakh, two of them, Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev - for committing a range of grave and particularly grave crimes, including abduction and murder of an underage boy. According to the norms of international humanitarian law, they are neither hostages nor prisoners of war.

Meanwhile, three Armenians, captured by the Azerbaijani party in the recent years, are held hostage in the country. They have not committed any crimes on the territory of Azerbaijan. Moreover, two of them have health problems.

“All three are hostages, and their detention in Azerbaijan is a gross violation of the norms of international humanitarian law, as well as the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages,” the Spokesman said.

“The motives of the Azerbaijani party are obvious: Baku tries to equate the criminals serving sentences in Artsakh by a court decision and the hostages held in Azerbaijan, so that the proposal of exchange on the principle of “all for all” looks like a humanitarian step. Meanwhile, the real humanitarian step would be the release of the Armenian hostages, as required, inter alia, by the aforementioned Convention. Baku did not do this and, therefore, cannot speak of humanism in this matter,” Artak Nersisyan stated.

He added that the release of the Armenians hostages by Azerbaijan, first of all those who have obvious health problems, would demonstrate its readiness to take humanitarian steps, as well as the seriousness of statements voiced from Baku.