Armenia hands over body of an Azerbaijani soldier
05 February 2017

Another Azerbaijani soldier currently in Armenian captivity has been visited by the Ombudsman in the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Armenia has handed over the body of Chingiz Gurbanov, an Azerbaijani soldier who was killed during a violent incident which occured on the international boder between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 29 December 2016.

The transfer was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), according to a statement issued by the organisation.

The statement said that the handover took place on the road between the Armenian town of Ijevan and the Azerbaijani town of Gazakh at the international border.

Immediately after the incident on the international border on 29 December 2016, the ICRC offered its services in its role as neutral intermediary to facilitate the transfer of the soldier's body.

Several international organisations had recently expressed concern at the delay by the Armenian side to hand over the body.

Azerbaijan has confirmed the hand over and said that Gurbanov's body was received with full military honours and transferred to Baku.

This is not the first time the ICRC has been involved in such humanitarian work, In April last year, following an escalation in hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the ICRC assisted the sides in several operations to search for the bodies of those killed in action and retrieve them from the battlefield, along the Line of Contact. The ICRC also facilitated the handover of the bodies.

The ICRC has been carrying out humanitarian work in the region related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 1992.

An Azerbaijani soldier in the meantime remains in Armenian captitivity. The soldier is being held by the de facto authroities of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic who say he was part of a foiled Azerbaijani infiltration operation that occured on 1 February. Armenian media report that Elnur Huseynzadeh has been provided with a lawyer, and that on Friday (3 February) he was visited by the Ombudsman in Nagorno-Karabakh, Reuben Melikyan, who also provided him with an Azerbaijani language version of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Husseinzade'lawyer, Arkadi Israelyan, told Armenian News - that he has met with his client. "I met with my client, and also took part in investigative actions," he noted, adding that other details cannot be publicized stemming from the principles of confidentiality.

Azerbaijan has denied the circumstances of Huseyndzadeh's capture and say that he was decommissioned from the army some time ago.

source; with agencies.

photo: The Ombudsman in Nagoron-Karabakh, Ruben Melikyan met captured Azerbaijani soldier Elnur Huseynzadeh..