On October 19, Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan received the group of high-level rapporteurs on democracy of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe headed by the head of the delegation, the Permanent Representative of Sweden to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Martin Ehnberg. Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Paruyr Hovhannisyan was present at the meeting.
Arman Tatoyan presented the evidence of war crimes and the confirmations of torture with human rights activist Siranush Sahakyan.
Armenia’s Ombudsman presented the war crimes of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces during the war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in November-December 2020. He noted that the Azerbaijani armed attacks were accompanied by inhuman and cruel treatment, beheadings and torture of both prisoners of war and civilian prisoners.
The Defender also provided information on the facts of violation of the rights of the border residents of the Republic of Armenia by the Azerbaijani authorities.
During the meeting, both Arman Tatoyan and Siranush Sahakyan spoke in detail about the urgency of the return of Armenian captives held in Azerbaijan, noting that presenting them as ‘terrorists’ or ‘saboteurs’ grossly violates international requirements.
Siranush Sahakyan noted that all servicemen of the Armenian side - civilians in the status of captives - should be released immediately, returned to the Homeland without any political or other preconditions, and the Azerbaijani authorities artificially delay the process, politicizing the rights of the captives and their families, making them suffer and causing tension in the society.
Arman Tatoyan and Siranush Sahakyan noted that the violations will continue unless the Azerbaijani side is held accountable for war crimes.
The delegation also included the Permanent Ambassadors of Russia, France, Finland, Andorra, Estonia, Iceland and Switzerland to the Council of Europe, as well as the Director General of the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe Verena Taylor, the Head of the CoE Office in Yerevan Martina Schmidt and others.