"Pashinyan needs to find the strength to make peace with Azerbaijan"
    Caliber.Az conversation with Neil Watson

    INTERVIEWS  17 April 2023 - 15:49

    Huseyn Safarov

    On April 10, the Azerbaijani Defenсe Ministry reported that two Azerbaijani servicemen - Babirov Agshin Gabil oglu (2004) and Akhundov Huseyn Ahliman oglu (2003) gone missing due to limited visibility in adverse weather conditions on the territory of the Shahbuz district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic bordering Armenia.

    On April 13, a video showing bound and beaten up Huseyn Akhundov was disseminated in the Armenian segment of the social networks. As follows from the video, he was found in the Gafan district. The photos and videos posted on social networks and made public by Armenian users show that our soldier was tortured, beaten, and mocked.

    In this connection, the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan opened a criminal case under Article 115.2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan "Torture of captives, cruel or inhuman treatment". The State Commission for Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons appealed to international organisations in this regard.

    The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and Ombudsman's Office issued condemning statements stressing that the beating of the Azerbaijani soldier is a gross violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of POWs and that international organisations should respond accordingly.

    The British journalist and political analyst Neil Watson has also harshly condemned the inhumane treatment of the Azerbaijani soldier. In a conversation with Caliber.Az, he stressed that this is completely contrary to the Geneva Convention.

    "As a UK citizen who believes in upholding international law and as a humanitarian, I completely condemn the torture of three young Azerbaijani soldiers who found themselves in Armenian captivity. Their videoed ill-treatment is completely against the Geneva Convention and other international laws, to which Armenia is a signatory," Watson noted.

    According to him, the fact is that Armenia and its two big supporters - Iran and Russia - do not want a peace deal. They two countries thrive on volatility, violence, and mutual hostility between Azerbaijan and Armenia for their own purposes. Such acts of violence make a peace treaty and border delimitation in the near future seem even more unlikely.

    "In my view, the only way forward is peace discussions held in a third country - either in Brussels or the US - without the participation of self-interested or biased third parties. Deep down, Pashinyan knows he has to sign a peace deal, but he is seemingly delaying matters ad infinitum to placate the international Armenian diaspora, Russia and Iran. He needs to feel empowered to make the right decision - peace with Azerbaijan. However, he comes with baggage at home in Armenia, as the man who lost Karabakh and temporarily lost the support of Russia. Either he needs to be a man and do what is right, or he should resign his post, the hope being that his successor as Armenian leader will be able to sign a peace treaty whilst maintaining internal support in Armenia, amongst the diaspora and retaining acceptable relations with Russia, Iran, France and other interested third parties," the British journalist said.


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