According to some credential data, many Armenians captured during the Karabakh Liberation War are still alive and kept as prisoners of war in Azerbaijan, however the adversary does not want to hand them over to the Armenian side, Roman Balayan, Vice President of the Karabakh War Veterans’ Union NGO and President of the Artsakh branch of the union, told a news conference on Tuesday.
Mr Balayan noted that one of those survivors is Rafael Balayan from Hartashen village of Karabakh’s Hadrout region, who is in his 50s now and has been kept in Azerbaijani prison since 1992. He highlighted that even the Red Cross is unable to get back the Armenian prisoner of war.
“Rafael Balayan’s two daughters are married and are living in Armenia. His son is in Russia now. I am convinced the Azerbaijani side will not hand him over after all. They even dishonor the deceased, not to talk about returning a living man. The adversary is bloodthirsty, whereas the Armenian side has handed over all the prisoners of war to the Azerbaijani side, including the ones captured during the April war,” he said.
Roman Balayan noted an estimated number of 800 people both from Artsakh and Armenia have gone missing.
He also highlighted Vera Grigoryan, the Chairman of the “Union of Relatives of Missing Freedom Fighters” NGO, is sparing no effort day and night to bring back even the relics of the missing Armenians for them to rest in Armenia.
Touching upon the program of providing assistance to the families of the April war victims, Balayan stressed they are always in the center of attention and care.
In the end, the speaker reminded a total of 23 women freedom fighters fell during the Artsakh war.
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