Armenia-Azerbaijan prisoner exchange: two Armenian and one Azerbaijani soldier returned
Armenia and Azerbaijan exchange prisoners
A Russian military plane with two Armenian prisoners on board has landed at the Erebuni airport in Yerevan. They have been accompanied by the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh Rustam Muradov. It has been reported that Armenia returned one Azerbaijani soldier to Baku.
- Azerbaijani soldier detained in Karabakh on several charges including espionage
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- Azerbaijan discusses legitimacy of Russian peacekeepers’ presence in Karabakh
Reports from Yerevan
Two Armenian prisoners returned to their homeland – Artur Nalbandyan and Aramais Torozyan.
Two military men, as previously reported by Armenian sources, got lost due to fog at dawn on July 14 near Lake Sevlich (Black Lake) in the Syunik region of Armenia. The Ministry of Defense reported that the soldiers were traveling by car and carried out their official duties but they had no weapons on them.
With the mediation of Russia, negotiations were held with representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in order to determine whether the soldiers had crossed into the Azerbaijani territory. However, all this time the Azerbaijani side did not provide any information, and nothing was known about the fate of the military. Azerbaijan did not confirm the fact of their capture.
On September 7, they were exchanged for Jamil Babayev, an Azerbaijani serviceman who was detained in Nagorno-Karabakh, in one of the houses of Martakert. He entered the house, where at that time there were only two teenagers, threatened the children, and demanded food and cigarettes. He was fed, after which they promised to go to the store for cigarettes. One of the teenagers left the house and called the police.
The law enforcement agencies of the unrecognized NKR detained an Azerbaijani soldier and launched a criminal case under several articles of the criminal code. Babayev was accused of espionage, illegal crossing of the state border with the threat of murder of underage residents of the apartment.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that the serviceman Jamil Babayev had left the psychiatric ward of the hospital in Ganja without permission. The Azerbaijani side also launched an investigation at that time.
This time the Armenian prisoners were also accompanied by the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in NK Rustam Muradov. He is completing his mission, in connection with this on September 6, he met with the Minister of Defense of Armenia. Now it is reported that Muradov flew to Baku after the agreements was reached at this meeting.
The number of Armenian prisoners, confirmed by the Azerbaijani side, according to the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, is 60 people. However, Armenian human rights activists argue that the real number of prisoners held in Azerbaijan is much higher.
Reports from Baku
Azerbaijani Jamil Babayev, detained by the Armenians on the territory controlled by the peacekeepers in Agdera, was returned to Baku. This was reported by the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Citizens of Azerbaijan.
According to available information, Babayev was returned to Azerbaijan through the mediation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent. Babayev was exchanged for two Armenian soldiers – Artur Nalbandyan and Aramais Torozyan.