May 7, 2021 - 18:25 AMT
OSCE chief joins calls for release of Karabakh captives

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde on Thursday, May 6 cited international humanitarian law in her call for completing the exchange of Nagorno-Karabakh captives, at the same time welcoming the release of three Armenian prisoners of war days earlier.

"Call on sides to urgently complete exchange of detainees and all remains, as obligated by IHL. Fully support Minsk Group Co-chairs and urge sides to resume political process through them as soon as possible," Linde tweeted.

The United States, Canada and France too published similar calls earlier, describing the prisoners of war as "detainees" and urging the 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.