EU Commission confirms that Azerbaijani hostages are civilians

Press Release: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission has reminded both Armenia and Azerbaijan of their obligations under international law regarding the ceasefire requirements of the Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Answering a question on the treatment of Azerbaijani hostages Dilham Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev – seized when visiting their relatives’ graves in the Armenian-occupied region of Kalbajar in July – Commissioner Mogherini said: “The EU has underscored the obligations of both sides under international humanitarian law, in particular with regard to the treatment of civilians and persons taken into custody during times of conflict, and has called for the full and transparent investigation of such incidents.”

By making this statement, Commissioner Mogherini has supported Azerbaijan’s consistent and vehement assertions that the hostages are civilians whose sole aim was to tend the graves, rather than ‘armed forces saboteurs’, as falsely claimed by the Armenian forces illegally occupying the territory.