The representation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Baku will not be granted permission to check on Zaven Karapetyan, the Armenian citizen currently being held in detention in Azerbaijan,
Zaven Karapetyan was arrested earlier this month on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Soon after his arrest, on June 21, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry released a video where Karapetyan claims to be an Armenian soldier.
A video of Karapetyan was released in which he states that he was born on November 16, 1974 in the village of Dovekh, a village in North-Eastern Armenia, located not far from the border with Azerbaijan. In the video, Karapetyan said that when he was arrested he was conducting a military operation for the Armenian Army.
“I am involved in paid combat duty. Taking advantage of unfavorable weather conditions, I mean, rainy, cloudy weather and darkness, we moved towards the positions of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. Our aim was to attack the positions of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces’ units and kill soldiers there. Two members of our group were injured, and the rest, having taken them with themselves, ran towards the Armenian positions. I mean, the other members of the group, taking the two wounded soldiers, ran in direction of Armenia’s positions. I could not escape. And decided to hide. Then the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan seized me”, Karapaetuan said, as reported on the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense
Armenian authorities promptly reacted to the video and denied that Karapetyan is a soldier in the Armenian Army as well as the military operation described in the video tape.
Local police confirmed Karapetyan’s date of birth, but according to their records, he was born in Nor Kharberd village of the Ararat province and is currently registered at a convalescence home in Vanadzor,
local media reports.
“He lived an uncertain life. He was registered at the convalescence home just to receive a passport, since he had no permanent residence. He lived in different parts of Vanadzor at different times, collected garbage and was homeless. He is not from Vanadzor. I don’t know from which facility he comes, but he had an uncertain lifestyle. We have had no information about him for many years”, Mamikon Aslanyan, Vanadzor’s Mayor, was quoted by
local media as saying
, Karapetyan was given exemption from military service on December 12, 1993, due to mental health issues.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan, Armenian Defense Ministry spokesperson, declared that the event is a provocation by the Azerbaijani side.
“This person is a civilian. He doesn’t serve in our army: even his appearance clearly shows this”, Hovhannisyan was quoted by local media as saying.