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Ombudsman calls for int'l justice for January 20 killings

20 January 2022 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Ombudsman calls for int'l justice for January 20 killings

By Sabina Mammadli

Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva has urged the international community and agencies to cooperate with Azerbaijan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the January 20 events and give an international legal assessment of this bloody act.

In a statement on the 32nd anniversary of mass killings in Azerbaijan in 1990, she said that January 20 events should be interpreted as a crime against humanity by international law, and the military personnel who ordered to commit this massacre should be held criminally liable.

“As a result of this crime against humanity,150 civilians, including children, women, and elderly were brutally killed, 744 people were wounded, and 841 persons were unlawfully imprisoned,” said the statement.

Aliyeva said that the January 20 events did not break the will and determination of the Azerbaijani people, on the contrary, those events united the nation more closely for freedom and brought them closer to the path of independence.

The commissioner stated that from the late 1980s, Armenia pursued a policy of hatred, ethnic cleansing, and genocide against Azerbaijanis, as well as asserted unlawful territorial claims to Azerbaijan.

She noted that the Azerbaijani people expressed their strong protest to the aggressive actions of Armenia and the support of the USSR leadership but Armenia deployed troops against the civilian population in massacres in Baku and Sumgayit cities, as well as in other cities and districts of the country. She added that this was done to break the will of the Azerbaijani people.

Further, Aliyeva stated that Azerbaijan has faced severe trials, bloody crimes, terrorist acts, and genocides that have been committed against the people at certain stages of history. More than 23,000 Azerbaijanis have died, 50,000 have been injured or became disabled, and about 4,000 citizens of Azerbaijan are still reported as missing as a result of military aggression over the past 30 years.

She stressed that in 2020, a counter-offensive operation was launched to prevent another military aggression against Azerbaijan and to ensure the security of the civilian population. Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia for nearly 30 years were liberated in a short time, and the violated rights of compatriots were restored.

As a result of the war crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan during these military operations, more than 100 civilians, including more than 10 children were killed, more than 450 people were wounded, 12,000 civilian objects, including more than 3,410 houses, 120 multifloored apartments, 512 civilian infrastructure, including apartment buildings and numerous schools, hospitals, and kindergartens, as well as our historic, religious, and cultural monuments were destroyed or severely damaged, she added.

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