US Congress demands Azerbaijan to release all Armenian prisoners of war
The House of Representatives of the US Congress demands Azerbaijan to immediately release all Armenian military and civilians who continue to remain in captivity after the end of the second Karabakh war. The House of Representatives approved an amendment to the law presented by Congressmen Adam Schiff, Tony Cardenas and Brad Sherman.
It says that all Armenian prisoners who continue to be held in Azerbaijan must be returned in accordance with the requirements of international law and the Geneva Conventions.
“Despite its obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the statement of November 9 [document on the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh, signed by the heads of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia – JAMnews], the Azerbaijani government continues to detain about 200 Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees, distorting the status of these people to justify their being in captivity”, says the document, published on the website of the House of Representatives.
The authors of the bill also demand that the Biden administration investigate the war crimes committed by Azerbaijan in the fall of 2020 during the war in Karabakh.
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The document says that on September 27, 2020, with the support of Turkey and foreign armed formations, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh. As a result, thousands of people died, tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians became internally displaced persons.
The authors of the bill insist on the investigation of war crimes committed by Azerbaijan during 44 days, while the military actions were going on in Karabakh, including the use of prohibited weapons against civilians (white phosphorus, cluster bombs).
In addition, Congressmen are demanding an investigation into the use of American technology in Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles. This refers to the Turkish “Bayraktars”, which, as indicated in the document, were used to shell peaceful settlements.
The US Secretary of Defense must report the results of these investigations to the appropriate congressional committees within 180 days of the law’s entry into force.