ARMENIAN-CAPTURED AZERBAIJANI SOLDIER SAMIR MAMMADOV HANDED OVER TO THIRD COUNTRY

Azeri Press Agency
Feb 1 2008
Azerbaijan

Armenian-captured Azerbaijani soldier Samir Mammadov was handed over
to third country, captive's family told the APA

Representation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
in Azerbaijan reported that the captive was handed over to the third
country yesterday.The captive's mother Tarana Mammadova told the APA
that they do not know which country Samir was handed over to. "We
are anxious about Samir," she said.

ICRC Representation in Azerbaijan confirmed the fact. It was stated
that, Samir was handed over to third country on January 31.They
declined to give information about which country he was handed over
to. It was noted that it is kept confidential.

"The committee representatives did not participate in handover
process. ICRC representatives in Armenia visited captive on January
29.Captive stated that he wants to go to third country during the
visit of representatives," committee said.

International Committee of the Red Cross said that the representatives
of the committee visited Samir Mammadov 26 times, and the captive
and his family exchanged 20 letters.

Secretary of State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and
Missing Persons Shahin Sayilov told APA that the commission has not
received official report that Samir Mammadov was handed over to the
third country. The secretary said it is not released what country
the captive has been handed over to.

"The name of the country can be kept confidential by his request.

According to the international rules, in this case it is only reported
that the captive has been handed over to the third country.

But the captive will possibly contact his family and tell them where
he is," he said.

Sayilov also said that there are rare cases of handover of Azerbaijani
and Armenian captives to the third countries.

"For example, we do not release what country Armenian captives were
handed over by their request," He said.

According to the secretary, Samir Mammadov can be delivered to his
country at his will.

"He has not given up citizenship and can return to motherland,"
he said.

Samir Mammadov was captured by Armenian armed forces in Gazakh region
of Azerbaijan on December 24, 2006.