Azerbaijan convicts 30 Armenian soldiers of “terrorism”

BAKU — Although the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has largely ceased militarily, it continues in other forms. On Friday, an Azerbaijani court sentenced 30 Armenian soldiers to six years imprisonment on the pretext of carrying out sabotage operations in Azerbaijani territory after the ceasefire went into effect.

The court claimed that the Armenian soldiers were arrested after crossing the border and capturing positions in northwest of Hadrat on 26 and 27 November.

The judiciary added that they had launched attacks on factories, institutions, and organizations in Azerbaijani territory, targeted individuals and carrying out bombings, and posed a threat to the lives of citizens.

The recently convicted are among more than 60 Armenian soldiers arrested after the end of the month-and-a-half conflict between the two countries in Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Human Rights Watch, Azerbaijani forces have abused Armenian prisoners of war, subjecting them to cruel and degrading treatment and torture either when they were captured, during their transfer, or while in custody at various detention facilities.

“The abuse, including torture of detained Armenian soldiers, is abhorrent and a war crime,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It is also deeply disturbing that a number of missing Armenian soldiers were last seen in Azerbaijan’s custody and it has failed to account for them.”