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Stranded Man Taken Hostage in Azerbaijan 

On July 8, it was announced that a resident of Nerqin Khndzoresk left for the pastures in Syunik Marz, and did not return. The Ministry of Emergency and the Police were informed and four days later announced that the search of the resident was terminated as he was not found.

One week later, Naxcivantv, in violation of international conventions on hostages between hostile parties, released a video featuring a man who introduced himself as Narek Sardaryan, resident of Nerqin Khndzoresk village of Armenia who was answering guided questions on wanting a citizenship of Azerbaijan or being handed over to a third state.

The family of Narek Sardaryan announced that Narek was kidnapped by Azerbaijani military forces. The National Security Service of Armenia released a statement which said, “Missing resident of Nerqin Khndzoresk village, Narek Sardaryan born in 1990, was stranded while he was looking for cattle in pastures near the Nakhijevan border, and as a result he stepped on the territory of Nakhijevan where he was captured as a hostage.

Sardaryan is characterized as a patriot, calm and hard-working person, who has never had issues with local authorities and law enforcement bodies. Sardaryan has a family and dependent children. Measures are taken to have Narek Sardaryan returned to the Republic of Armenia.”

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan discussed the issue of two civilian hostages kept in Azerbaijan with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Yerevan. Aside from Narek Sardaryan, the second person held hostage in Azerbaijan is Karen Ghazaryan, resident of Berdavan village of Tavush, kept hostage since 2018.