187 Armenian Soldiers, 21 Civilians Missing Since 2020 War; Mirzoyan Says 38 Remain POWs

As of Monday there are 187 soldiers from Armenia and Artsakh still missing in action, while there are 21 civilians who are not accounted for, according to a report released by the investigative committee. Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told parliament Monday that Azerbaijan was holding 38 Armenians as prisoners of war, three of whom are civilians.

The committee also placed the total number of deaths during the 2020 Artsakh at 3,822. While, according to Armenpress, the investigator did not provide further elaboration, they said the number, which remained unchanged, includes both civilians and members of the Armed Forces.

The committee said it is continuing the investigation into criminal cases stemming from the aggression used by Azerbaijan against Artsakh, including the deployment and recruitment of mercenaries who were funded by Turkey and fought alongside Azerbaijani soldiers. The investigation also includes Azerbaijan’s use of international outlawed methods and measures used during the war.

Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate, premeditated and coordinated attacks on the peaceful population of towns and cities of Artsakh and other gross violations of international humanitarian law are also part of the committee’s ongoing investigation.

The Investigative Committee also announced that thus far Azerbaijan had retuned 150 Armenian POWS, who are either civilians or part of the military.

Mirzoyan said Monday that two out of the 38 POWs were captured prior to the Azerbaijan’s attempt to invade Armenia in November, while three were civilians.

The issue has been included on the agenda of an upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as is the decision by the European Court of Human Rights.

Mirzoyan also discussed the December 7, 2021 decision by the UN’s International Court of Justice, where through the use of urgent measures the court mandated Azerbaijan to prevent inciting racial hatred and discrimination targeting ethnic Armenians and take necessary measures to prevent and punish the acts of vandalism and desecration directed against the Armenian cultural heritage.

The minister said the statement of Azerbaijan’s culture minister, that a commission must be set up to deal with the “restoration of Alabanian cultural monuments,” makes it extremely urgent for UNESCO to send a mission to Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia is in negotiations with the U.N. body to this end.