Azerbaijani community in UK appeals to ICRC

Azerbaijani community in UK appeals to ICRC

Baku, April 27, AZERTAC

The Coordination Council of Azerbaijanis in the UK has made an appeal to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regarding the soldiers of the Azerbaijan Army Babirov Agshin and Akhundov Huseyn, who were captured by Armenia and subjected to inhuman treatment.

The appeal reads: “We are writing to you to express our deep concern about the fate of two soldiers of the Azerbaijani Army who went missing due to poor visibility and inclement weather conditions in the Shahbuz region of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan along the border with Armenia. The soldiers of the Azerbaijani army, who went missing are named as - Babirov Agshin Gabil, born in 2004, and Akhundov Huseyn Ahliman, born in 2003, were captured and tortured by the Armenian military.

As you are likely aware, recent photos and videos released by the mass media of Armenia clearly show evidence of torture and other inhumane actions against the serviceman of Azerbaijan. The videos clearly demonstrate how the Azerbaijani serviceman is being beaten with his hands tied and insulted. This is a grave violation of international law and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.

We strongly urge the Red Cross to take immediate action to intervene and secure the release of the missing Azerbaijani soldiers. The Geneva Convention clearly states that prisoners of war must be treated humanely and protected against all acts of violence, threats, insults, and public curiosity. Article 3 of the Convention states that "Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria."

We would like to emphasize that Armenia is a signatory to the Geneva Convention and as such is obligated to uphold its provisions. Yet, it is clear that the actions of the Armenian military in this case are in blatant violation of the Convention they signed.

We demand that the Armenian authorities immediately and unconditionally release the missing Azerbaijani soldiers and ensure that they are treated humanely and with respect.

The Red Cross has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that the rights of prisoners of war are respected and upheld. Article 118 of the Geneva Convention mandates that the ICRC shall offer its services to the Parties to the conflict with a view to facilitating the search for the persons who have disappeared, the enquiry into the circumstances of their disappearance and the repatriation of those who are found to be alive.

We understand that the situation in the region is complex and fraught with tension, but we urge the Red Cross to use its expertise and resources to ensure that human rights are respected and that all parties adhere to their obligations under international law. We believe that the Red Cross can play a crucial role in promoting dialogue and understanding between the parties, and we call on you to take an active role in this regard. We call upon the Red Cross to use its influence to ensure that the missing soldiers are located and released as soon as possible. It is our hope that the Red Cross will take swift and decisive action to address this matter and ensure that the missing soldiers are reunited with their families and loved ones.

We also demand that the Representation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Armenia urgently visit those servicemen and provide information about their condition. It is imperative that we send a clear message to the world that the ICRC will not tolerate violations of international law and will do everything possible to achieve justice for these two soldiers. We believe that by standing up for human rights and the rule of law, we can make the world a safer and more just place for all.”

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