PACE issues statement on Azerbaijani hostages taken by Armenia

An Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has organized an event, titled “Humanitarian case of the two Azerbaijani civilians: Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev”, as part of the Assembly’s summer session.

Hard conditions of detention of Azerbaijani hostages, and threat to their lives and health were highlighted at the event.

Given all this, the event participants sent an appeal to Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the PACE, and the organization’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

The document was signed by members of European Parliament and posted on the PACE website.

It calls for an immediate and unconditional release of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev.

“11 July 2019 will mark five years since the Azerbaijani civilians Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev were taken hostage while visiting the graves of their relatives in the occupied Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan.

They represent a community of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis forcibly displaced from their native lands as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We are deeply concerned that all calls to release them have been rejected so far.

We acknowledge the fact that in 2015 their application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights.

As we were reminded at the event hosted by the delegation of Azerbaijan to the Parliamentary Assembly on 25 June, the humanitarian case of Asgarov and Guliyev deserves a strong reaction from the international community to put an end to their life-threatening desperate situation.

We therefore urge the Assembly, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Commissioner for Human Rights to seize this matter to ensure their immediate and unconditional release, in order to restore their violated rights.

We also look forward to seeing the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights concerning their case,” the document says.

Shahla Aghalarova

Special Correspondent

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