As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, about 4,500 people were reported missing. Over 3000 of them are registered by the ICRC Baku office, the rest by the Yerevan office and the Nagorno-Karabakh mission. This was reported at a meeting with journalists by head of the public relations department of the Azerbaijani representative of the ICRC Ilaha Huseynova. She noted that 80 percent of these people were military personnel. The Committee attaches great importance to the collection of information about missing persons during the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For this purpose, over the last year, 2,770 saliva samples were taken from relatives of 775 citizens who gone missing. These samples were collected for the purpose of establishing the relationship of missing persons upon possible exhumation, that is, the extraction of corpses from the place of their burial in the future. In addition, 1,370 family members of missing persons were provided with psychological assistance, as well as assistance in carrying out funeral events. During the meeting with media representatives, Ilaha Huseynova noted that journalists should take a special responsibility when disseminating information about people of this category.
“The fact is that the ICRC operates in sensitive areas. We work in the territory of the frontline villages, and visit detainees. Journalists bring their information to the general public. It would be very good if they had more understanding in our activities. This meeting will help media representatives to get answers to their questions, as well as this knowledge may be useful for them in future activities,” Ilaha Huseynova said.
At a meeting with journalists, the work of the ICRC was also discussed in order to familiarize them with the conditions of detention of Azerbaijani hostages held captive by the Armenian side. During 2018, ICRC representatives visited detainees 88 times. They visited 45 places of detention to familiarize themselves with the conditions of detention, the treatment of prisoners and to support them in establishing contact with their families. In addition, during this time, the Red Cross Committee handed over 269 letters from the detainees to their families.