CIPDH regarding Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev taken hostage in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan
More than 25 years have passed since the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reached its military phase and Azerbaijan faced with the military aggression of the Armenian occupiers, ethnic cleansing policy against Azerbaijanis and all other horrors of war. As a result of the expansion of military activities aimed against Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh which is an integral part of this country and the seven adjacent regions – Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Gubadli and Zangilan were occupied by Armenia. As a result of Armenia’s ethnic cleansing policy, more than 20,000 Azerbaijani citizens were killed and 20% of the Azerbaijani lands were occupied. Over one million and two hundred thousand people had to leave their homeland, while hundreds of people have been captured and taken hostage.
In the recent past, in July 2014, three Azerbaijani civilians were taken hostage in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan which are recognized as Azerbaijani territories by the international community. One of the hostages, Hasan Hasanov, was killed, the other two – Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev – were subjected to severe physical and moral tortures.
As a result of the so-called “trial process”, which didn’t have any legal basis and whose claimed “verdicts” had no legal effects whatsoever, Dilgam Asgarov was sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment and Shahbaz Guliyev to 22 years of prison. The traces of moral and physical torture could clearly be seen in the videos and photos of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev shot during the so-called “trial process”. According to the information given to the families of the hostages through the letters, both prisoners have serious health issues. As a result of the irresponsible attitude of the Armenian government to the grave conditions of the prisoners, the health problems of both hostages are aggravating.
All the abovementioned reaffirm the fact that Armenia, which started the conflict, ignores the international instruments, such as the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Victims of War, and violates the provisions of international humanitarian law.
Therefore, we call on all the international organizations to take immediate measures, assist in the implementation of the appropriate provisions of international humanitarian law, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to improve the conditions of both of the hostages and take urgent steps to ensure their right to return to their families.
Armenia’s non-compliance with the demands of international organizations regarding the occupied territories of Azerbaijan
For more than a quarter of the century, the historical territories of Azerbaijan are under occupation of Armenia and Azerbaijani people live with the hope of returning to their native lands, rebuilding their homes and live peacefully.
The four resolutions of the UN Security Council – № 822, 853, 874 and 884, all of which were adopted in 1993, condemned the Armenian occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, highlighted the unacceptability of forcible appropriation of territory, confirmed the inviolability of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and borders of Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupation forces from Azerbaijani lands. Unfortunately, these demands are still remaining on paper, as these resolutions are not yet complied by Armenia.
Moreover, in violation of all the fundamental postulates of the international humanitarian law, Armenia carried out ethnic cleansing policy against approximately million Azerbaijani civilians in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and in Armenia itself. It left Azerbaijan with one of the largest IDPs per capita number in the world. Despite all demands and regardless of all the existing legal norms, some 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory is still under occupation.
It should be noted that the attack on the town of Khojaly, which was committed during the active phase of the war, was especially brutal and tragic. Invaders completely exterminated its civilian population: during the Khojaly genocide, 613 people were killed; hundreds of people were severely injured; 1275 people were taken hostages. 8 families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one of the parents, while 25 children lost both of them; captives and hostages were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. To this day, 150 people from Khojaly remain missing. Human rights of all those people, particularly the fundamental right to life, were disgustingly violated.