Legal talks on release of Azerbaijani hostages at European Court of Human Rights should wrap up before late 2019

15:34 | 7 September, 2019

Legal talks on the release of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev are ongoing at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and are expected to be completed before the end of this year, chairman of the Azerbaijani Bar Association Anar Baghirov told Trend.

Baghirov noted that all necessary measures are being taken to this end in accordance with the instructions of the head of state.

According to the chairman, communication should be completed by the end of this year, and the case will be considered in a short time.

“The statement of claim for the release of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev was prepared and sent to the ECHR on May 15, 2015. A letter was received from the ECHR on the adoption of the lawsuit on June 10, 2015, and correspondence was initiated,” the lawyer said.

During an operation in July 2014 in Shaplar village of Azerbaijani Kalbajar district occupied by Armenia, the Armenian special forces killed an Azerbaijani Hasan Hasanov, and took hostage two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. All three of them wanted to visit their native lands and the graves of their relatives.

A “criminal case” was initiated against them. Afterwards, a “court” sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.