Three U.S. cities declare February 26 as Khojaly Memorial Day [PHOTO]
By Sabina Mammadli
The mayors of three American cities have declared February 26 as "Khojaly Memorial Day", the State Committee for Work with Diaspora has reported.
U.S. cities honor Khojaly victims
The declarations signed by Mitch Colvin, Elaine O'Neill, and Jacques Gilbert states that the Azerbaijani community in the cities of Apex, Durham, Fayetteville, and around the world pays tribute to the memory of the Khojaly genocide victims on February 26 with deep sorrow and sadness.
The documents emphasize that the Azerbaijani Friendship Organization helps to promote the Azerbaijani language, culture, history, and cultural heritage in these cities.
It should be noted that the declarations were adopted at the initiative of Adika Igbal, the head of the Azerbaijani Friendship Organization.
Khojaly commemoration in Iran
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's ambassador to Iran, Ali Alizada, stated that Armenia's war, crimes against peace and humanity, particularly the Khojaly genocide committed as part of its aggression policy against Azerbaijan, are grave violations of human rights and international law.
The ambassador made the remarks during his speech at a commemoration ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, which was held on February 23, 2022, at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran, Iran.
The ambassador stated that the national legislatures of 17 countries, as well as 23 U.S. states, have passed resolutions and decisions condemning the genocide against civilians in Khojaly as a crime against humanity.
“At the same time, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States adopted resolutions and statements strongly condemning the Khojaly genocide,” Alizada added.
Entire destroyed infrastructure
Azerbaijani Deputy Education Minister Firudin Gurbanov stated that all 14 schools that existed in Khojaly before the occupation had been destroyed.
"The entire infrastructure of Khojaly was destroyed. Historical monuments, monuments in the cemetery of the city were destroyed. All this clearly demonstrates the true face of the Armenians," Gurbanov added.
Armenia committed genocide against the 7,000-person population of Azerbaijan's Khojaly town on February 26, 1992.
As a result of the Khojaly genocide, 613 peaceful Azerbaijanis were killed, including 63 children, 106 women, and 70 elderly people. Simultaneously, 487 civilians were seriously injured, and 1,275 people were kidnapped. The fate of 150 hostages remains unknown, including 68 women and 26 children.
During the genocide, 56 people were killed with extreme cruelty, with their heads peeled off, various limbs severed, eyes removed, and pregnant women's bellies pierced with bayonets. As a result, eight families were utterly destroyed, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children were orphaned.
Relevant documents adopted by the parliaments of Mexico, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Sudan, Guatemala and Djibouti recognized the Khojaly massacre as an act of genocide. The parliaments of Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Jordan, Slovenia, Scotland, and Paraguay, as well as the executive and legislative bodies of 22 U.S. states have strongly condemned the Khojaly tragedy as a massacre. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation recognized Armenia as an aggressor and the Khojaly tragedy as genocide.
Every year on February 26, the victims of the Khojaly genocide are remembered at the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
This heinous act was preceded by a slew of others. Armenians set fire to around 20 buildings in the Baghanis-Ayrim village of Gazakh region, killing eight Azerbaijanis. A family of five, including a 39-day-old newborn, were all burnt alive.
Between June and December 1991, Armenian troops murdered 12 and wounded 15 Azerbaijanis in Khojavand region's Garadaghli and Asgaran region's Meshali villages.
Armenian military detachments bombed buses on the Shusha-Jamilli, Aghdam-Khojavand, and Aghdam-Garadaghli routes in August and September of the same year, killing 17 Azerbaijanis and injuring over 90 others.
In October and November 1991, Armenians burned, destroyed, and plundered over 30 settlements in the mountainous area of Karabakh, including Tugh, Imarat-Garvand, Sirkhavand, Meshali, Jamilli, Umudlu, Garadaghli, Karkijahan, and other significant villages.
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