Information of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan

An Armenian terrorist-sabotage group of 62 members purposefully deployed by Armenia in the liberated areas of Azerbaijan was detained by the relevant state bodies and handed over for the investigation.

In this context, it must be pointed out that the presence in these areas of the illegal armed groups belonging to the opposite side is a severe violation of human rights and a serious threat to human and civil rights. The arrest of members of such illegal armed groups serves to safeguard everyone’s rights and freedomsin those areas, including mainly the right to life irrespective of their ethnicity or nationality, and to prevent real terrorism and crime in the country.

After the ceasefire reached by Azerbaijan and Armenia, our servicemen and civilians were killed and wounded as a result of terrorist acts committed by these groups sent to the territories of Azerbaijan to commit terrorist activities.

As the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, we strongly condemn the deliberate and purposeful deployment of terrorist-sabotage forces by Armenia in our liberated territories and the criminal acts committed by them. It should be especially emphasized members of a sabotage group committed a specific crime are not entitled to have a status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law, particularly the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the protection of victims of war.

The members of the Armenian terrorist-sabotage groups detained for criminal acts do not have the status of POWs as per the provisions of IHL and domestic laws of Azerbaijan, and unequivocally there is no legal basis to claim this status.

In this regard, the sending of armed sabotage groups by Armenia to the territories of Azerbaijan after the cessation of hostilities with entry into force of the tripartite statement signed on 10 November 2020 by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia should be considered a violation of the statement in question. Furthermore, since the provocation and acts of terrorism by the sabotage group that cause the loss of human life of a terrorist are considered predicate offences, bringing them into criminal liability in accordance with our national criminal legislation must be accepted with understanding.

Such provocations by Armenia against our country pose a serious threat to the life and health of the armed forces and civilian population of Azerbaijan. In addition, such actions also threaten people not only physically and materially, but also morally and psychologically, as well as cause to live in a difficult and risky situation, blatant violation of their main rights and freedoms, including the right to life, the right to live in in a safe and healthy environment; therefore, these criminal acts must be stopped unconditionally.

We once again call on Armenia to obey the requirements of the tripartite statement of 10 November 2020, to refrain from provocative actions threatening the life of peaceful civilians and violating human rights and freedoms, as well as not to use manipulations wrongly interpreting the norms of international law.