Statement by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons

On April 10, in accordance with the arrangement reached earlier, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR), through the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman in Office, carried out the exchange of bodies of the deceased between the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan near the Bash Karvend settlement. The bodies of 18 servicemen of the NKR Defense Army, fallen as a result of the large scale military aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan in April 2-5, were transferred to the NKR side during the exchange.

At the presence of the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the NKR State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons registered that all bodies of the deceased transferred by the Azerbaijani side had signs of torture and mutilation.

Those acts, being a flagrant manifestation of inhumanity, run counter to the laws and customs of war and are in grave violation of the international humanitarian law, in particular, the Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949), Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949), and the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).

The Karabakh side will seek to ensure that such behavior of the Azerbaijani side is condemned in strongest terms by the international community and the specialized agencies, and those responsible are brought into account.              

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