YEREVAN, August 16. / ARKA /. Armenia’s deputy foreign minister Ashot Hovakimian has urged today the International Committee of the Red Cross to step up efforts to bring back to Armenia an army conscript Hakob Injigulyan, who crossed the Azeri border on August 8 and was subsequently captured by Azeri troops. Hovakimian said this as he met with Dragana Rankovic, a representative of the ICRC.
Earlier Armenia offered to free an Azerbaijani prisoner of war as it continued trying to secure the release of Injigulyan
Rankovic said that the Armenian office of the International Committee of the Red Cross is doing everything so that representatives of ICRC in Baku obtain permission of Azeri authorities to meet with the captured Armenian conscripts.
Earlier the Armenian defense ministry said Injigulyan accidentally strayed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory east of Nagorno-Karabakh and was captured by Azeris. It said an investigation is underway in order to determine the details of the incident and adopt the necessary measures for the safety of the captive.
Earlier this week, Injighulyan was shown by an Azerbaijani television saying that he defected to the Azerbaijani side after being assaulted by one of his commanders. The Armenian defense ministry dismissed that statement, saying that the 22-year-old was forced to present a false version of events.
It also condemned the televised appearance as a violation of international conventions on the treatment of POWs. -0-