MISSING ARMENIAN WOMAN FROM ARTSAKH FOUND DEAD, BROTHER SAYS SHE WAS TORTURED
January 14, 2020: On the same day of talks between Erdogan and Putin, when Turkey’s leader said he would like to create conditions of “coexistence” between Armenians and Azeris, officials located the body of an Armenian woman today who had been reported missing.
The woman has been identified as 58-year-old Alvard Tovmasyan who was a resident of Karin Tak village, near the Shushi region of Artsakh currently occupied by Azerbaijani forces.
Tovmasyan was a second degree intellectually disabled person killed and “tortured beyond recognition” outside of her home with her hands, ears, and feet cut off, according to her brother Samvel Tovmasyan who confirmed her identity by recognizing the clothes she was wearing.
According to relatives, who left Karin Tak village on October 29, 2020, Tovmasyan stayed behind. The last time relatives spoke to her was by telephone on November 5, 2020, Tovmasyan’s brother told Armenian news station Hetq.am.
On November 9, Azerbaijan forces captured the village. Her relatives said they could not have imagined that would ever happen and became very concerned when they were unable to reach Alvard again. Search operations began underway after they immediately contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross, Office of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender and police to help locate her. Samvel also participated in search efforts and it was he who recognized his sister’s clothing
Samvel’s wife, Nairuhi Tovmasyan, told reporters that Alvard’s body was found dismembered. He and Nairuhi now live in Stepanakert, Artsakh.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) ratified by Armenia in 2010 and Azerbaijan in 2009 states Article 11 titled “Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies”, that parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, yhumanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.
In addition, Article 15 of the CRPD includes the subject of “Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and Article 6, which states “parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination”.
The CRPD reinforces the need to protect the rights of adults and children with disabilities and ensure their full and equal participation in society. This includes avoiding the adverse experiences resulting from violence, which are knows to have a wide range of detrimental consequences for health and well-being. (source: UN.org)
Original story source: Hetq.am
Additional story content and English translation
by Linda Berberian
U.S. International Council on Disabilities
The New York Times
Human Rights Watch