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Le président Aliev dans une galerie de casques appartenant à des soldats arméniens tombés au combat dans le parc des trophées militaires (Photo : Bureau du président de la République d'Azerbaïdjan, 12 avril 2021)

Our campaign

According to information from human rights NGOs, confirmed by the ICRC, Azerbaijan is still holding 23 Armenian prisoners, accused of terrorism and sentenced, after sham trials, to sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison, in violation of international law and Azerbaijan's own commitments under the ceasefire declaration of 10 November 2020.  

 

 

Faced with such injustice, our three NGOs - the Covcas Center, Hyestart and the Armenophobia Observatory - have decided to launch an international solidarity campaign aimed at the sponsorship of Armenian prisoners of war abusively detained by Azerbaijan by local and regional authorities, NGOs or personalities in order to demand their repatriation as soon as possible.   ​

The Current Context

In September 2020, Azerbaijan started the second large-scale war in Nagorno-Karabakh, after 26 years of frozen conflict. Following this 44-day war, a tripartite ceasefire declaration was signed on 10 November 2020, between the Azeri and Russian presidents and the Armenian prime minister, in preparation for a subsequent peace agreement.

The latter provided for the exchange of all prisoners of war between Azerbaijan on the one hand, and Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on the other. By the beginning of 2021, all Azeri POWs were returned by Armenia to Azerbaijan. The process of return of detained Armenian POWs and civilians was done in several waves in 2021, but Azerbaijan deliberately stopped it prematurely. 

According to information from human rights NGOs confirmed by the ICRC, Baku is still holding 23 confirmed prisoners, whom it accuses of terrorism and has unduly sentenced to sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison. In addition to these 23 prisoners, evidence indicates the existence of at least 80 other captured persons (videos of their capture, testimonies of freed ex POWs ...) of whom we have no more news. Azerbaijan denies their existence. The fate of these "forcibly disappeared" remains uncertain, as the ICRC has no information about them and cannot visit them.

 

On 15 June 2021, during a trip to Nagorno-Karabakh in the company of Turkish President Erdogan and his wife, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev openly admitted the he was "still holding many Armenian prisoners of war" in order to use them for blackmail against Armenia and demand concessions not provided for in the tripartite agreement of November 2020.

Sponsor an Armenian POW

Our Objective: The immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian prisoners of war 

The sponsorship of a prisoner of war constitutes the heart of this solidarity campaign. To sponsor an Armenian prisoner of war is to protect him from the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment he systematically undergoes during his incarceration in one of the worst countries in the world in terms of universal rights and freedoms, which is also suspected of using these men as hostages and as bargaining chips in order to obtain ever more concessions from Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). ​ 

 

In addition to these 23 prisoners, there is no news of at least 80 other captured persons whose existence is denied by Azerbaijan. The fate of these "forcibly disappeared" remains uncertain, as the ICRC has no information about them, and cannot visit them.  

 

This policy of Azerbaijan is also part of what the European Parliament rightly described in a resolution of 10 March 2022 as a "state policy of systematic Armenophobia, historical revisionism and hatred towards Armenians promoted by the Azerbaijani authorities". For example, the Parliament of Azerbaijan adopted a declaration in March 2023 calling the Armenian diaspora a "cancerous tumor of Europe".

 

#FreeArmenianPOWs- your support can save them, your voice can bring hope to their families.   

 

Let's unite our voices to guarantee their right to life, liberty and security!

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