May 7, 2021 - 13:53 AMT
France urges Azerbaijan to release all Armenian "detainees"

France has joined the United States and Canada in urging Azerbaijan to release all the Armenian prisoners of war.

"We call for the expeditious release of all Armenian detainees still being held. Azerbaijan’s release of three Armenian detainees yesterday is a step in the right direction," the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a tweet on Thursday, May 6.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Global Affairs Canada too published similar calls earlier, describing the prisoners of war as "detainees" and urging "both sides" to release them all, although the Armenian side has returned all Azerbaijani POWs and detained persons.

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.