Manvel Grigoryan’s crimes during Karabakh war must be investigated, Baku says

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Former deputy defense minister, national hero of Armenia Manvel Grigoryan participated in numerous war crimes such as the Khojaly genocide, looting of property of Azerbaijani residents during the occupation of Fizuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan, torture and mass killing of prisoners of war, as well as taking hostage of civilians, their torturing and murder, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, told Trend June 18.

He was commenting on the arrest of former deputy defense minister of Armenia Manvel Grigoryan.

“In his interview in 2014 with the Armenian bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Grigoryan openly and “proudly” stated that he was returning from the Karabakh war with hundreds of Azerbaijani hostages and forced them to work in his home,” Hajiyev said.

He noted that Manvel Grigoryan, accused of violating the Geneva Conventions by such actions, contemptuously stated that he doesn’t recognize the Geneva Conventions and is proud to be an Armenian.

“Unfortunately, the criminal case initiated against Manvel Grigoryan is limited only to economic crimes committed in Armenia,” Hajiyev added. “The crimes committed by him during the war, in particular actions against hundreds of Azerbaijanis that he held captive, as he himself admitted, must be investigated.”

Hajiyev expressed hope that international organizations for human rights protection, including the Council of Europe, will be active in this issue.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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