Question: How would you comment on the campaign launched by Azerbaijan aimed at releasing saboteurs Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev?
Answer: Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev, as a part of a criminal group illegally infiltrated the territory of the Republic of Artsakh. The members of the criminal group committed a range of grave and particularly grave crimes, including abduction and murder of a 17-year-old boy Smbat Tsakanyan, murder of the 43-year-old Sargis Abrahamyan and causing serious injuries to a 37-year-old woman Karine Davtyan. The court proceedings against them were public and conducted in full compliance with the national and international justice standards. During the trial, it was established that the criminal group was armed by the special forces of Azerbaijan and sent to Artsakh for espionage purposes, which, however, was prevented by the law-enforcement bodies of Artsakh.
As in the cases of murderer Ramil Safarov’s pardon and appeals to international organizations to assist in the release of Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev, the Azerbaijani authorities demonstrate open rejection and denial of rights of the people of Artsakh, including the right to life and legal protection. This campaign is a part of the state policy affecting all the spheres of public life, a policy aimed at inciting xenophobia and promoting hate crimes against Armenians in Azerbaijan. Such a policy merely demonstrates the values on which the Azerbaijani statehood is based.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh has repeatedly informed the international community about the crimes committed by these citizens and the court proceedings, including by distributing memoranda in international organizations, inter alia, the UN and the OSCE.