Azerbaijan’s Committee against Torture has protested against the Human Rights Watch’s claims alleging that Azerbaijan does not treat POWs in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, news sources have reported.
“We regret to state that the latest report of this organization, which refers to the cruel treatment of Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan, is biased and does not reflect reality,” the committee said in a statement of protest.
It added that representatives of the Azerbaijan Committee against Torture after the First Karabakh War and until now have repeatedly visited families who voluntarily crossed into the territory of Azerbaijan, as well as persons who surrendered by raising a white flag, captured military saboteurs and civilians, held individual meetings with them and inquired about the conditions of their treatment.
Biased statements by HRW
“We strongly declare that these POWs were treated in full compliance with the requirements of the Geneva Conventions. However, despite the fact that dozens of criminal cases were initiated in connection with torture, cruel and degrading treatment of Azerbaijani prisoners of war and hostages held in Armenia, many international organizations have closed and continue to close their eyes to these facts. Unfortunately, the Armenian side has repeatedly used torture, degrading treatment and punishment against Azerbaijani prisoners of war,” the statement added.
It noted that for some reason, the Human Rights Watch which “disseminates such biased statements is not interested in the footage of the torture of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who were taken prisoner while visiting their native lands, as well as the video footage released by the Armenian side about torture and ill-treatment of Azerbaijani servicemen who were wounded and taken prisoner by the Armenians during the Second Karabakh War”.
The statement reiterated that such organizations, covering up Armenia’s crimes and spreading slanderous information about Azerbaijan, “serve the interests of Armenians and try to put pressure on our country”.