By Rashid Shirinov
Over 50,000 people have undersigned a petition to the UN Security Council demanding to recognize Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan as a war criminal.
The petition was published on the website of Avaaz on January 28.
The U.S.-based Avaaz is a civic organization that promotes global activism on different issues such as human rights, corruption, poverty, conflicts, climate change, animal rights, etc.
“Unfortunately, Serzh Sargsyan, current President of Armenia, still remains unpunished by international organizations for his policy of attacking Azerbaijan for several times,” the petition reads, noting that he commanded groups that organized Khojaly Massacre, in which hundreds of Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenians.
Khojaly, the second largest town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, came under intense fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by the Armenian Armed Forces in 1992.
About 613 civilians mostly women and children were killed in the Khojaly Massacre, and a total of 1,000 people became disabled. Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, and the fate of 150 of them remains unknown.
The petition further reads that Serzh Sargsyan was also directly involved in the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions back in 1990s. “His military, political aggression has to be deprecated by the international community,” it says.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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