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Azerbaijan: Collection of data on missing people moves forward

13-02-2009 News Release 09/38

Baku (ICRC) – The families of more than 4,400 people missing in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict still have not found out what became of their relatives.

They have a right to know, and the authorities must provide them with the information they need. Last year, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) developed a programme to help the authorities fulfil this obligation.

As part of the programme, and within the framework of agreements signed in 2008 between the ICRC and the Azerbaijani government and between the ICRC and the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan, a second training workshop on collecting detailed data about missing people was completed on 12 February. The two-week workshop, held in Barda, was attended by volunteers and Azerbaijani Red Crescent tracing service staff who learned to communicate with the families on this sensitive issue.

The newly trained volunteers will immediately start to visit families in 18 towns and districts: Aghdam, Agdjabadi, Barda, Beylagan, Fizuli, Tartar, Yevlakh, Ganja, Goygol, Agstafa, Gazakh, Tovuz, Shamkir, Gadabay, Dashkasan, Samukh, Mingachevir and Goranboy.

" Time passes, but there is no end to the pain felt by the relatives of missing people. The information collected will help clarify what happened to them and, as a result, help many families find relief and finally move on with their lives, " said Katja Gysin, the ICRC's representative in charge of the issue of missing people.

Since the programme was launched, Azerbaijani Red Crescent volunteers have collected over 800 detailed questionnaires from families in the Baku, Sumgait and Apsheron districts.

Since 1992 the ICRC has been working to help the authorities fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law and support the familie s of the missing in their right to learn what has happened to their loved ones.

For further information, please contact:
  Gulnaz Guliyeva, ICRC Baku, tel: +994 12 465 63 34 or +994 12 465 64 52

  For more information on the issue of missing people, please visit: