YEREVAN — An Azerbaijani civilian – a woman who had crossed the international border into Armenia on 7 June – was repatriated today under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). She was handed over to Azerbaijani officials at the international border, on the road between Ijevan in Armenia and Gazakh in Azerbaijan.
The ICRC, acting as a neutral intermediary, helped the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities carry out the repatriation. ICRC representatives visited the woman before she was sent back to Azerbaijan to assess her treatment and the conditions in which she was being held.
Armenian authorities said on Tuesday that the woman identified herself as Zohra Veliyeva when she was detained in Armenia’s northern Tavush province. She also claimed to be a resident of Yanixli, a village in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district bordering Tavush, they said.
The Azerbaijani Turan news agency afterwards cited Yanixli residents as saying that the woman is known in Tovuz as a fortune teller and has no permanent place of residence. One of the villagers said she is also known for her “weird behavior.”
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons reported that the 39-year-old woman’s real name is Qatiba Alekberova and that she resides in another village located in the Gadabay district southeast of Tovuz. According to the Commission she has dispensary registration in the interdistrict mental hospital in Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district.
A commission official told the APA news agency that “given her health condition” Alekberova was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Gazakh, a town near the Armenian border, immediately after her repatriation.