Expert warns of growing pressure on Armenian captive in Azerbaijan as Red Cross officials fail to visit him

Panorama, Armenia
Sept 12 2020

Tigran Abrahamyan, the head of the Yerevan-based Henaket think tank, took to Facebook on Saturday to remind that 20 days have passed since Armenian officer Gurgen Alaverdyan mistakenly crossed into Azerbaijan and was captured there, but Red Cross officials have not visited him yet.

“Azerbaijan has carried out various political, legal and propaganda actions in regard to the incident. These are ordinary primitive events, which are usually carried out by Azerbaijan, but I will not dwell on the details at this time,” he wrote.

“The biggest problem at the moment is that the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is currently dealing with the issue, have not met with our serviceman yet to provide the necessary assistance,” Abrahamyan stressed.

The expert underlined that the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War clearly sets out all the details of the Red Cross officials’ visits in such situations, the rights of POWs and their family members.

“Accordingly, they should have already visited the serviceman, passed details about his health condition, and, in general, the developments around him to Alaverdyan's family members and made some information public,” Abrahamyan said.

“The later the ICRC meetings and contacts with our officer, the greater the pressure on the serviceman and the problems with the exercise of the rights enshrined in the relevant convention,” he stressed.

The expert called for immediate measures to come into contact with the Armenian captive and to take him under international legal protection. 

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