Azerbaijan jails 13 more Armenian PoWs for six years
An Azerbaijan court on Friday, July 23 sentenced 13 Armenian prisoners of war to six years in prison, finding them guilty of “illegally crossing the border, weapons possession and terrorism offences,” Sputnik Azerbaijan reports.
A group of another 13 Armenians illegally being held in Azerbaijan were handed similar sentences a day earlier.
All the 26 men sentenced in the past two days will be deported after serving their prison terms, according to the decision from Azerbaijan’s serious crimes court.
Earlier this month, Azerbaijan sentenced 14 members of Armenia’s armed forces to various jail terms, while Viken Euljekjian, an Armenian captive and a citizen of Lebanon, was handed a 20-year jail term in mid-June.
Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 Armenians still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers.