Armenia in contact with Red Cross to ensure safe return of villager from Azeri captivity

Panorama, Armenia

The Armenian Defense Ministry has established a direct contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to secure a safe return of the Armenian villager held captive in Azerbaijan, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Balayan told a briefing on Monday.

The official confirmed that Armenian citizen Karen Ghazaryan, who ended up in the Azerbaijani territory in still unknown circumstances, is suffering from mental problems, due to which he has not served in the Armenian army.

He stressed all the necessary measure are being taken through the Red Cross.

“Works are also being carried out in other directions to ensure the return of our citizen to Armenia as quickly and safely as possible. I cannot report any progress in the issue at the moment,” Balayan said.
Earlier on Monday, the Armenian Police refuted the Azerbaijani disinformation suggesting their troops thwarted an alleged sabotage infiltration attempt by the Armenian side at the Gazakh region and held captive an Armenian “saboteur” identified as Karen Ghazaryan. 

Ashot Aharonyanm, the head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Armenian Police, revealed that Ghazaryan (b. 1984) is a resident of bordering Berdavan village of Armenia’s Tavush Province, who has not served in the Armenian army due to health problems and has been registered in a medical facility since 2013.

The police said the circumstances of how the villager ended up in the Azerbaijani territory are being investigated.

The Armenian Defense Ministry officially announced that Ghazaryan is not serving in and has never been drafted to the Armenian army, according to a Facebook post by Spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan. 

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