On January 26, 2017, the member of the State Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, Vice-Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Chairperson of the parliament’s Human Rights Committee Bahar Muradova has today met with Elena Ajmone Sessera, Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in Azerbaijan.
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s relations with the ICRC, the vice-speaker highlighted the committee’s work in conflict zones and care provided by the committee representatives to refugees, internally displaced persons, prisoners of war and missing people all over the world, the parliament told APA.
Muradova brought to the fore the fate of Azerbaijanis, who were captured and went missing as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The vice speaker expressed concern about the fate of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev who were taken hostage in Kalbajar in 2014.
She noted that Armenian armed forces periodically violate the ceasefire with Azerbaijan and the civilian population of Azerbaijan residing in the border area is subjected to physical and moral aggression.
Muradova pointed out that the body of Azerbaijani soldier Chingiz Gurbanov, who died fighting to prevent the Armenian provocation at the state border in December last year, is still being kept by the Armenia side.
Despite numerous calls and appeals from local and international organizations, Armenia, in contravention of the norms of international law and the Geneva Convention, still refuses to return the Azerbaijani soldier’s body, the vice-speaker said.
On Jan. 23, the Human Rights Committee made a statement calling on international organizations to take urgent measures regarding the return of the Azerbaijani soldier’s body, Muradova recalled.
The vice-speaker also called on the ICRC to use every opportunity to release the Azerbaijanis taken hostage in Kalbajar and return the Azerbaijani soldier’s body
The ICRC Delegation head in turn said the return of Chingiz Gurbanov’s body is in the spotlight.
Elena Ajmone Sessera said the ICRC mandate includes only humanitarian actions and they do not have the authority to intervene in political issues. She noted that ICRC representatives and medical staff periodically visit Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, taken hostage in Kalbajar.
The sides then discussed the regulation on international practice the issues of hostages and prisoners of war and the return of the bodies of those killed during combat operations. Ms. Sessera referred to the provisions of international law in relation to these issues.
Moreover, the sides exchanged views on prospects of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the ICRC.