The photos of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) officials kept in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku are fragmentary and cannot deny their torture and ill-treatment by Azerbaijan, News.am cited international law expert and attorney Siranush Sahakyan as saying on Tuesday, January 23.
Sahakyan, who is the president of the International and Comparative Law Center, made the remarks after staged photos of arrested Nagorno-Karabakh military and political officials were published on Azerbaijani social media.
Sahakyan emphasized that said photos do not reflect the real conditions in Azerbaijani prisons.
The expert, making a reference to the testimonies of the Armenian captives who were returned from Azerbaijan, said: “The repatriated captives have testified that they were taken out of their main places of detention, taken to well-furnished rooms, even photographed with the involvement of the [Azerbaijani] Human Rights Defender, simulated a conversation, after which they were returned to the main places of detention where the conditions of detention and treatment does not meet international standards at all.”
According to Sahakyan, in this way, Azerbaijan is thus falsifying evidence, which is already seen in international court proceedings.
Sahakyan said that the official number of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians being held in Baku is 23.
She noted that there are interstate processes, in which the cases of 2023 are included, and Armenia has entrusted the matter of both high-ranking Artsakh leaders and captives; it refers to the fourth complaint of Armenia v. Azerbaijan.
Sahakyan stressed that, unfortunately, the issue of captives is politicized.
In terms of the unconfirmed number of Armenians being held in Baku, Sahakyan said that their number is 80, there are facts about them being there, but it is still unknown whether they are alive or not.
And when asked whether the level of atrocities in Azerbaijan towards Armenians is decreasing, Sahakyan said: “We have not observed any decrease. Perhaps at the rhetorical level, they are attempting to demonstrate that the coexistence of Armenians and Azerbaijanis is possible. But when we analyze their actions, there is no decrease in intensity here. One of the best examples of this is the forced deportation [of Artsakh Armenians], and before that—also the blockade of Artsakh.”