In addition to political negotiations, Armenia is trying to find legal mechanisms to ensure the return of detainees in Azerbaijan.
Ara Ghazaryan (International Law Specialist) - We know that the reason for all this is that those people are Armenians, that is, racism is the basis of punishment. It is clear that they will return in the end, because after receiving the sentence, no matter how absurd it may seem, it is the law of Azerbaijan, it is the criminal code, it is the criminal law, a person is released after serving the sentence, unless of course conditional, No premature or probation systems are used. That is the guarantee.
What are the legal mechanisms for the return of a convicted person in a hostile country when, for example, the person has already served the sentence? Azerbaijan sentenced 2 of the 14 Armenian servicemen captured in the area of Khtsaberd and Hin Tagher to 4 years in prison. They have 3 years left to serve their sentence. After that, international pressure can have a significant impact on ensuring their return, unless, of course, Azerbaijan invents additional charges against them.
Ara Ghazaryan - The process of international pressure, even if it is the application of a political sanction of the Council of Europe, on the grounds of not fulfilling its assignment. Next. UN agencies can also impose sanctions, and monitoring bodies can present the situation. There are no more real tools of political pressure because states are autonomous in their actions.
The 38 people confirmed and detained there by Azerbaijan were sentenced to 4-20 years in prison on false charges of being terrorists and spies. On November 10, 2020, two friends who provided aid to Artsakh, Gevorg Sujyan and Davit Davtyan, were sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Baku court, and Alyosha Khosrovyan and Ludvig Mkrtchyan to 20 years, claiming that they had committed crimes against the Azerbaijani army in the First Karabakh War. According to Ara Ghazaryan, many international organizations question the fairness of those trials. The most recent example was the resolution adopted by the PACE in January.
Ara Ghazaryan - The PACE spoke about it in its resolution, opinions were voiced on different platforms of the Council of Europe, and finally, in both spheres, the European Court and the Hague Tribunal, this issue is also a subject of legal dispute. All this cannot but attract the attention of the world, simply against the background of this Russia-Ukraine war, false trials are not given so much importance.
Armenia raises this humanitarian issue on all possible international platforms, making efforts to ensure the return of the young men through negotiations. The whole issue, according to Ghazaryan, is that people are innocent; participation in battles is not a crime.