In a resolution overwhelmingly passed on Thursday, the European Union’s legislative body also expressed serious concern over “credible reports” that they have been tortured and held in “degrading conditions.” It said at least two Armenian civilians have died in Azerbaijani captivity as a result.
The resolution calls on both Azerbaijan and Armenia to fully comply with the November 2020 truce agreement that requires the unconditional release of all prisoners held by the conflicting sides.
The Russian peacekeepers stationed in Karabakh have arranged several prisoner swaps in recent months. No Azerbaijani prisoners are known to be held in Armenia or Karabakh at present.
A total of 73 Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and civilians have been freed to date. More than 100 others are believed to remain in Azerbaijani captivity.
Azerbaijan says that they are not covered by the truce agreement because they were captured after it took effect on November 10. Azerbaijani officials have branded them as “terrorists” and said Baku does not intend to release them. Yerevan regards this as a gross violation of the accord brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The EU called for the release of the remaining Armenian prisoners in a statement released in late April. It also said Baku must also provide the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with information about their whereabouts and detention and health conditions
The European Parliament resolution notes that the Azerbaijani authorities have failed to comply with relevant “interim measures” issued by the Strasbourg-based court with regard to at least 112 Armenians. It urges them to “cooperate fully with the ECHR on the issue of Armenian prisoners.”