The Armenian authorities have granted political asylum to an Azerbaijani family that crossed into Armenia via Georgia earlier this year.
Javid Orujev, his wife Roya Mirzoyeva and three children entered the country through the main Georgian-Armenian border crossing in late January, several months after being reportedly deported back to Azerbaijan from Norway.
According to Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Orujev claimed to have been harassed by and forced to spy for Azerbaijani intelligence because of Mirzoyeva’s ethnic Armenian origin. The 38-year-old told the NSS that he had unsuccessfully sought political asylum in a European state for that reason.
The family lodged a similar application with immigration authorities in Yerevan. News.am quoted the head of Armenia’s State Migration Service (SMS), Gagik Yeganian, as saying on Sunday that the request has been granted.
The five Azerbaijanis have been kept an undisclosed location in Yerevan. Orujev and Mirzoyeva have avoided any contact with the Armenian media so far.
Azerbaijani news services quoted Orujev’s mother as saying in February that the family was never harassed by the Azerbaijani authorities. She said her son is simply keen to again emigrate to Europe through Armenia.