Nalbandian: Racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance grossly violate human dignity and give rise to tensions within and between societies. That is why the fight against them became one of the main priorities of our chairmanship.
by David Stepanyan
Capture of a 77-year-old Armenian 'diversionist' arouses some questions to the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
Mamikon Khojoyan (77), a resident of Tavush Region, was captured on 28 January after he lost his bearings on the terrain and crossed the border in the area of Tovuz region, Azerbaijan. The local residents together with Azerbaijani servicemen detained the elderly man and transported him to Baku, according the Alibeyli community head.
Immediately after the incident, Azerbaijani defense ministry claimed the old man was a member of an Armenian intelligence and subversive group. However, when Zakir Hasanov's department was mocked at even in Azerbaijan, Khojoyan was declared as a "guide of sabotage group".
Commenting on the given report in an interview with RFE/RL, Uzeir Jafarov, an Azerbaijani military expert, called it silly. According to him, an old, unarmed and sick man like Khojoyan could bear no relation to subversions. Furthermore, the expert was astonished to hear that Khojoyan was captured by the ordinary citizens and not by servicemen.
"If a 77-year-old man could cross the border so easily, the Armenian special services will penetrate into the territory of Azerbaijan, and even Baku, make a sabotage and return without any problems," Jafarov said.