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Expatriation and individual testimonies

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On February 16, 1994 the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia announced that Azerbaijani prisoners of war had been shot, emphasizing, «they were killed while attempting to escape.» Thanks to ICRC efforts, arrangements were made on March 23, 1994 to transport from Armenia to Azerbaijan the bodies of 10 Azerbaijani prisoners, of whom 2 died on June 28, 1993 and November 23, 1993 respectively, and 8 were killed on January 29, 1994. The results of a forensic examination completely refuted the statement by the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the killing of the 10 Azerbaijani prisoners of war while attempting to escape and confirmed that they were brutally tortured and beaten before death. Some were killed by a shot in the head, and that some were shot from the front, at point-blank range. Three of the prisoners had had their ears cut off. One of them had internal organs – heart, liver and spleen – missing, indicating that, they had been used as transplants.

The forensic conclusions of the Azerbaijani exports were confirmed by the conclusions, incorporated in a document dated April 13, 1994, of the results of a second examination of the bodies carried out by the Scottish Professor Derek Pounder, an eminent scientist, member of me American Medical Association, the Presidium of the International Academy of Legal Medicine and of Social Medicine, and of the British «Doctors for Human Rights» Association.

From time to time, in order to give a semblance of legality to the punishments imposed on Azerbaijani prisoners of war, Armenia holds show trials behind a propaganda screen poorly concealing the absurdity of a situation in which the defendants – not provided with qualified counsel, contrary to international standards – are in fact accused of honestly performing their duty to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their State. For example at one such mock trial in Yerevan, two Azerbaijani prisoners of war were sentenced to death, three to 15 years imprisonment and another three to 12 years imprisonment. This is how Armenia’s overtly militarized governmental machinery, deals with the victims of war.

There is extensive information regarding inhuman treatment and violence against the defenseless victims of the war among the civilian population. The inflicting of physical suffering, murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation, medical and scientific experiments which are not based on the need for medical care, and other gross violence against detained Azerbaijan is by the representatives of the civil and military authorities in Armenia, violates the requirements not only of the well-known Geneva Conventions but also of basic human morality.

In August 1993, when the Gubatly district of Azerbaijan was seized by armed Forces from the Republic of Armenia Farkhad Yousifov, born in 1930 a resident of the village of Garakishiler in that district, was taken hostage. He has suffered from diabetes since 1973 and was held captive by Armenians, without the minimum assistance needed to treat his illness, in jail in the town of Goris (Armenia). Later he was transferred to a jail in the town of Kafan (Armenia). F.Yousifov was released on November 14, 1993 thanks the efforts of the ICRC and returned to Azerbaijan from the city of Yerevan (Armenia).

One of the peaceful inhabitants taken hostage at the time when the Gubadly district of Azerbaijan was occupied by Armenian soldiers in August 1993 and returned to Azerbaijan from Yerevan with ICRC assistance on November 14, 1993 was 60-year-old Islam Hajiyev, who according to F.Yousifov, with whom he shared the hardships of life as a hostage, was tortured mercilessly by Armenians. He was forced to lick the filthy floor, stand at attention for hours on end and his head was beaten against the wall, so that he went out of his mind.

An inhabitant of the Azerbaijani town of Shusha, 15-year-old Nazaket Mamedova, who was taken hostage together with her father at the time the town was occupied by the Armenian soldiers, experienced indescribable suffering. They were held first in the town of Khankendi and then in Armenia. Over a long period of time the father was demeaned and humiliated in various ways before the very eyes of his daughter. He was beaten, insulted, his ear was cut off and red-hot irons were applied to his body, making him an invalid for life. Only then was he released. However, his daughter was retained as a hostage until April 4, 1993, with the endless rounds of blackmail and threats driving the girl’s mother insane; eventually the daughter was returned to her family after a ransom had been paid.

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