March 1, 2019 - 11:14 AMT
Armenia says will defend rights of citizen jailed in Azerbaijan

Armenia will make consistent efforts towards defending the rights of its citizen sentenced to 20 years in jail by an Azerbaijani court, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said in a statement on Thursday, February 28.

The Armenian Defense Ministry has said in the past that Karen Ghazaryan (b. 1984) doesn’t serve in the army and has never been drafted. The police revealed, in turn, that the man has health issues and has been registered in a medical facility since 2013.

"Sadly, the Azerbaijani authorities, unsatisfied with initiating farce-like court case against Karen Ghazaryan who appeared in the Azerbaijan’s territory under unknown circumstances, went even further and, by conducting the trial in an “accelerated manner,” ruled a sentence of 20 years in prison against our citizen who has apparent health issues," Naghdalyan said.

"We condemn the verdict of the Azerbaijani court, ruled in an vivid violation of the international humanitarian law, while the real author of that verdict is the leadership of Azerbaijan."

According to the diplomat, the real reason behind the state-orchestrated capture of Karen Ghazaryan is not a secret. However, Baku's efforts will not succeed, she said.

"The rights of the people living in the conflict zone and the international humanitarian law constitute a priority for both the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh," Naghdalyan maintained.

"Moreover, the recently-issued decision of the authorities of Artsakh to free the Azerbaijani serviceman, who had served his court sentence, attests to the supremacy of the rule of law and the adherence of the Armenian side to the international humanitarian law.

"Nevertheless, the murder of a minor on the grounds of ethnic hatred is on a different legal as well as moral plane, moreover when we still have a fresh memory of the state-wide glorification of such crimes and their perpetrators. The impunity of the murderer glorified for the crime committed under exactly the same pretext 15 years ago is a daily reminder that such new “heroes” are needed by neither our region nor by the international community."