YEREVAN – The international humanitarian law suggests that the remains of deceased should be repatriated without any preconditions, representative of ICRC Yerevan office Zara Amatuni told Armenian News-NEWS.am.
This is an obligation for all states that have signed the Geneva Convention, she said commenting on the recent statement by Azerbaijani official.
Head of Azerbaijani committee on refugees and displaced persons Ali Hasanov said Azerbaijani Defense Ministry offered Armenia to exchange a five-member Armenian family and the body of Karen Petrosyan for Azerbaijani saboteurs Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Askerov, as well as the body of dead saboteur Hasan Hasanov.
According to her, the International Committee of the Red Cross is not involved in any negotiations relating to the exchange of the remains or interned and have never been involved in the processes of transferring the proposals from one party to the other.
“The main function of ICRC, as well as international humanitarian law, is to act as an independent mediator to facilitate the process of unconditional return or repatriation, rather than the exchange or transfer of any proposals. As for the internees, ICRC is ready to carry out repatriation as an independent intermediary between the parties,” Zara Amatuni noted.
Exchange of the remains or civilians, she added, is prohibited by international humanitarian law and the ICRC is not involved in such processes.
“We constantly remind the parties that the acceptable format is unconditional repatriation of the remains or internees, but not the exchange,” representative of ICRC office added.
On Friday, spokesperson for Armenian Foreign Ministry responded to the Azerbaijani official saying Armenia is committed to principles of humanity, and is not putting forward or accepting preconditions
Also on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry’s pokesperson Alexander Lukashevich stated. “We deeply regret that the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is accompanied by human losses, death of people, and not only during the clashes. We express deep condolences to the families and friends of K.Petrosyan and to other families of Armenians and Azerbaijanis who have lost their lives. We consider it necessary to conduct thorough investigations into such incidents,” he said.
His comment came in response to inquiry on Karen Petrosytan’s death in Azerbaijani captivity.