BAKU: Azeri soldiers said to be forced to work in Iran

Yeni Musavat, Azerbaijan
March 19 2010

Azeri soldiers said to be forced to work in Iran

An Azeri independent military expert has alleged that Azerbaijani
soldiers are taken to Iran and forced to work in Iran, the opposition
daily Yeni Musavat has reported.

Retired Col Uzeyir Cafarov, the chairman of the public union of
military journalists, told a news conference in Baku on 18 March that
young soldiers are taken from the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxcivan to
Iran and forced to work "as slaves".

"We are very concerned over the reports about events in military units
in Naxcivan. It’s unacceptable that our soldiers are degraded in
Iran."

Cafarov believes that a state official stands behind such actions: "We
invited representatives from law enforcement bodies and the Defense
Ministry to the press conference but no one came which raised our
doubts. Some official stands behind this shameful action."

Another military expert, retired Col Ildirim Mammadov, said the
authorities should react to the reports because "this discredits the
army".

Naxcivan is an Azerbaijani exclave that borders Iran, Turkey and Armenia.

[translated from Azeri]

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