Press Release

July 11, 2018 will mark four years since the Azerbaijani civilians Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev have been taken hostage and Hasan Hasanov was killed while visiting the graves of their parents in the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia. 

According to the false accusations, D. Asgarov received ''life imprisonment'' and S. Guliyev was ''sentenced for 22 years'' by an illegal entity created in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by armed forces of Armenia, which is not recogized by the international community.

The photos of D. Asgarov and S. Guliyev before and after their illegal imprisonment prove that they are subject to inhumane treatment in captivity. In contrary to the 1949 Geneva Conventions which clearly prohibits hostage taking and demands humane treatment to civilians during armed conficts, Armenia continues flagrant violatioon of its obligations taken at the international level. Armenia does not pay any attention to the calls of Azerbaijan on observing the norms of international humanitarian law and the quick and reciprocal release of the civilians by both sides.

D. Asgarov and S. Guliyev have been displaced from their native lands since 1993 as a result of Armenian occupation. More than twenty years of longing for home drove them to this desperate act of visiting their occupied lands and in this regard, their desire to see their homes and the graves of their parents is understandable. Thus, their illegal imprisonment and Armenia's stubborn objection to release them causes suffering to their relatives and rightful indignation of the Azerbaijani population.

Armenia's inhumane and non-constructive position derails the peaceful resolution of the conflict through negotiations. By keeping D. Asgarov and S. Guliyev in captivity the Armenian side clearly demonstrates that in contrary to the UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, it does not recognize the right to return of seven hundred thousand displaced Azerbaijani people who were forcefully expelled from their homes. 

The Azerbaijani side is against the politicization of this humanitarian case and requests the international community not to stay indifferent to the fates of D. Asgarov and S. Guliyev who developed numerous health problems in captivity and to support the campaign for their release. 

You can help these innocent people rejoin their families by sharing #freedilgam and #freeshahbaz through your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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