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Nagorny Karabakh conflict: ICRC visits prisoners of war

30-08-2013 News Release 146/13

Yerevan/Baku (ICRC) – On 26 August, delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited an Azerbaijani prisoner of war detained in Armenia since July 2012.

"During this visit, the ninth since the prisoner of war was detained, messages containing news of a strictly personal nature between him and his family were delivered and collected," said Lorenzo Caraffi, head of the ICRC delegation in Yerevan. "In addition, the question of whether he freely consented to be repatriated or resettled in a third country was confidentially discussed with him during the visit."

On 30 August, the ICRC was informed by the Armenian authorities that the Azerbaijani prisoner of war had been released and had departed Armenia for a third country under the auspices of another international organisation.

Earlier, on 20 August, ICRC delegates had visited an Armenian prisoner of war held in Azerbaijan since 8 August. On that occasion, they gave him the opportunity to exchange messages with his family. The visit was conducted in accordance with the ICRC's standard working procedures. "Meanwhile, the ICRC is pursuing its dialogue on all issues relating to the capture and detention of the Armenian soldier directly and confidentially with the authorities concerned," said Denise Duran, head of the ICRC delegation in Baku.

The ICRC has been visiting prisoners of war and civilians interned in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict since 1992. The aim of the visits is to monitor their conditions of detention or internment and ensure that they are treated with dignity, in accordance with international standards. At the request of the parties and with the consent of those concerned, the ICRC, in its role as a neutral intermediary, can facilitate the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees in coordination with the parties to the conflict. The ICRC does not have a mandate to resettle detainees in a third country.

For further information, please contact:
Ilaha Huseynova, ICRC Baku, tel: +99450 316 00 24
Ashot Astabatsyan, ICRC Yerevan, tel: +37410 297 415