Azerbaijan continues to ignore the interim measure used by the European Court against it, avoiding the demand to return the Armenian captives. Moreover, even with clear evidence of captivity, it does not guarantee their right to life. And there is no doubt that it is endangered. The fact of the murder of Erik Mkhitaryan, recorded in one of the videos disseminated by the Azerbaijanis, was recently confirmed.
The murder of 18-year-old Erik Mkhitaryan is the third death case in captivity in Azerbaijan as a result of this war. The bodies of two civilians arrested in Hadrut, Arsen Gharakhanyan and Eduard Shahgeldyan, had been handed over to the Armenian side earlier.
“Having clear evidence, video materials on the captivity of people, unfortunately, their right to life has not been protected by Azerbaijan. In other words, Azerbaijan has violated the decisions made by the European Court against it,” said Liparit Drmeyan, Head of the Office of the Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the ECHR.
Azerbaijanis published the videos documenting the captivity of three people. The lawyers sent the application on urgent measures in the case of Erik Mkhitaryan to the European Court on November 26. Four days later, the ECHR granted the motion for interim measures. Baku did not confirm the fact of captivity of neither Erik Mkhitaryan nor the other two civilians.
“An application was submitted for Erik, but Azerbaijan did not confirm it, he was clearly seen in the video,” Liparit Drmeyan says.
Erik Mkhitaryan took part in battles in Mekhakavan and Hadrut. The news of his death was confirmed on April 8. Four DNA tests were done to confirm his death.
“Four tests have been done, yes, it (Erik’s death) has been confirmed. Erik was buried yesterday in the village of Katnajur,” says Razmik Mkhitaryan, Erik Mkhitaryan's cousin.
Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross visit those people whose captivity is confirmed.
“The purpose of our visits is, first of all, to prevent possible disappearances of people on the one hand, and on the other hand, through regular visits, reminding to prevent ill-treatment through confidential dialogue, to control the conditions they are kept in,” says Zara Amatuni, Head of communication programs of the ICRC Delegation in Armenia.
Baku has confirmed the abduction of 72 people, whereas at present there is the decision of the ECHR in force for 183 people yet. The Office of the Armenian Representative in the European Court expects that the issue of prisoners will be included in the agenda of the Committee of Ministers in the near future.