Azerbaijan arrests several former top separatist leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh
Oct. 3, 2023
Authorities in Azerbaijan arrested several former separatist leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after reclaiming control of the Armenian-populated breakaway region in a lightning military operation last month, a top Azerbaijani news agency said.
Arayik Harutyunyan, who led the region before stepping down at the beginning of September, was arrested and was being brought to the Azerbaijani capital, the APA news agency said.
Arkadi Gukasian, who served as the separatist president from 1997 until 2007, and Bako Sahakyan, who held the job from 2007 until 2020, also were arrested Tuesday along with the speaker of the separatist legislature, Davit Ishkhanyan, APA said.
The wave of arrests come as Azerbaijani authorities move swiftly to establish their control over the region after a blitz offensive that triggered an exodus of over 100,000 people — more than 80% of its ethnic Armenian residents.
While Azerbaijan has pledged to respect the rights of ethnic Armenians, most of them have rushed to flee the region, fearing reprisals after three decades of separatist rule.
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