May 21, 2021 – 10:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – The European Parliament on Thursday, May 20 adopted a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Armenian prisoners of war by Azerbaijan, Member of the European Parliament François-Xavier Bellamy said in a tweet.
The measure was approved by an overwhelming majority in the parliament, with 607 out of 688 MEPs voting in its favor.
“Now it is time to act: for them, for their families, every single day counts,” Bellamy said.
The resolution cited Article 8 of the tripartite ceasefire statement signed to end the fighting, which stipulates that prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees, as well as the remains of those killed, must be exchanged, and that these exchanges should be conducted according to the ‘all for all’ principle.
It demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian prisoners, both military and civilian, detained during and after the conflict, and that Azerbaijan refrain from making arbitrary detentions in the future.
The parliament also expresses its grave concern about credible reports, according to which Armenian prisoners of war and other captive persons have been and are being held in degrading conditions, and that they have been subjected to inhuman treatment and torture when captured or during their detention.
So far, more than 70 Armenian POWs have returned home. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons still being kept in Baku are not prisoners of war but “terrorists and saboteurs”. Officials and human rights advocates from the Armenian side, however, maintain Azerbaijan is still holding hundreds of people hostage, pledging to submit evidence proving the capture of said persons to international agencies and courts.