Armenia’s former deputy defense minister, national hero Manvel Grigoryan participated in numerous war crimes, such as the Khojaly genocide, looting of property of Azerbaijani residents during the occupation of Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan, torture and mass killing of prisoners of war, as well as hostage-taking, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs told APA on Monday.
Hajiyev was commenting on the arrest of former Armenian deputy defense minister, MP Manvel Grigoryan.
“In his interview to RFE/RL's Armenian Service in November 2014, Grigoryan openly and “proudly” stated that he was returning from the Karabakh war with hundreds of Azerbaijani hostages and forced them to labor in his home. Grigoryan, who was even criticized by Armenian human rights for his confessions and were accused of violating the Geneva Conventions, in his statements contemptuously noted that he does not recognize the Geneva Conventions and he is proud of being an Armenian,” Hajiyev said.
The foreign ministry spokesman noted that this person, who is Armenia’s national hero, continued to serve as member of the Republican Party of Armenia after such statements.
Hajiyev went on to say that the new Armenian government, stressing the importance of democracy and human rights, should prove its essence right now.
“Unfortunately, the criminal case initiated against Manvel Grigoryan is limited only to economic crimes he committed in Armenia. The crimes committed by him during the war, in particular actions against hundreds of Azerbaijanis that he held captive, as he himself admitted, must be investigated. We hope that international organizations for the protection of human rights, including the Council of Europe, will be active in this matter,” the spokesman concluded.
Manvel Grigoryan was detained several days ago on charges of illegally storing weapons and ammunition in his summer house. The statement released by Armenia’s National Security Service said that MP Grigoryan is accused of appropriating aid sent to Armenian soldiers the April 2016 battles.