As of 1/17/2023, 23 Armenians are being illegally detained in Azerbaijan. These include 8 political prisoners, 9 hostages, and 6 prisoners of war that have been confirmed by Azerbaijan. However, it is suspected that many more POWs and civilian hostages are lingering in Azerbaijani prisons.
Now that both wars have ended, all detainees must be freed immediately under the Geneva Conventions. However, Azerbaijan refuses to comply.
The international community, in particular the U.S., Russia, and EU mediators, as well as others, carry the obligation to persuade Azerbaijan to free them unconditionally and immediately, lest they remain in inhumane captivity indefinitely.
Background: During both the 2020 and 2023 wars against Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani authorities detained some 200 Armenian civilians and military personnel. Dozens remain in Azerbaijani jails illegally, and although some await trials, others are subject to lengthy jail terms and even torture. Several soldiers and civilians remain missing to this day.
Political prisoners: Azerbaijan has declared 300 former leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh wanted for alleged war crimes. Eight of these leaders were detained and humiliated in front of cameras, before being transferred to prisons in Baku.
Hostages: An unknown number of Armenian civilians have been taken hostage since 2020 by Azerbaijani security personnel in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and even within the borders of Armenia.
Prisoners of war: Additionally, Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) remain in Azerbaijani prisons, enduring an unknown amount of persecution. Based on testimonial evidence from repatriated POWs, it is suspected that there are dozens more being held in detention in Azerbaijan, which Azerbaijan has neither claimed nor denied.