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Azerbaijan demands int'l justice for Khojaly genocide

24 February 2022 14:54 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan demands int'l justice for Khojaly genocide

By Sabina Mamamdli

Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva has urged the world community and relevant international agencies to adequately respond to the brutal act committed in Azerbaijan's Khojaly, recognize it as a genocide and bring its instigators and perpetrators to justice.

She made the remarks in a statement to international agencies on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.

Aliyeva has called for effective and drastic international sanctions against Armenia for flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, as well as increased pressure on the responsible state to provide information about the fate of Azerbaijani citizens who have been taken prisoner, hostage, or gone missing.

“Thirty years have passed since the Khojaly genocide, which entered into history as one of the most horrific tragedies of the 20th century and a grave crime against humanity,” she said.

Aliyeva stressed that hundreds of thousands of civilians have been massacred and expelled from their native lands as a result of Armenia's ethnic cleansing and genocide policies against Azerbaijanis throughout history.

In the statement, she addressed the facts of the brutal murder of people in Khojaly, noting that Armenian armed groups committed massacres in Azerbaijani settlements, the most horrific of which occurred in Khojaly while operating in an environment of impunity.

She emphasized that February 26 was declared the Day of the Khojaly Genocide and that the truth about the genocide was conveyed to the international community in 1994, at the initiative of late national leader Heydar Aliyev.

"The Armenian armed forces, Armenia-backed terrorist groups, and the 366th motorized infantry regiment of the former Soviet Army stationed in Khankandi town committed genocide against the civilian population of Khojaly on the night of February 25 to 26, 1992," she said.

The rights commissioner added that "this genocide act resulted in the brutal murder of 613 people, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly, while 1275 people were kidnapped and tortured. The fate of 150 hostages remains unknown, including 68 women and 26 children. During this genocide act, 487 people were severely injured. Furthermore, eight families were completely exterminated, 130 children lost one parent, and the remaining 25 children lost both parents. It should be noted that the fate of nearly 4,000 Azerbaijanis who were taken captive or hostage and went missing, including those missing in Khojaly, remains unknown since Armenia began its illegal territorial claims against Azerbaijan".

She emphasized that Armenian policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis have grossly violated a number of international binding documents.

According to the statement, the international campaign "Justice for Khojaly!" launched on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation played a critical role in promoting the truth about Karabakh, particularly the Khojaly genocide, throughout the world.

The commissioner emphasized that legislative bodies in 17 countries, as well as 24 states in the United States, have passed resolutions and decisions condemning the massacre of civilians in Khojaly. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) declared Armenia to be an aggressor and the Khojaly tragedy to be genocide.

Aliyeva stated that a number of the world's leading news organizations, including The Times, The Guardian, Reuters, and the BBC, have reported on the brutal scenes of criminal acts committed against humanity in Khojaly, and a number of resolutions have been passed as a result.

The commissioner also drew attention to Armenia's use of ballistic missiles and cluster bombs on densely populated cities and villages located kilometers away from the combat zone during the Second Karabakh War, as part of its genocidal policy.

"These attacks killed approximately 100 civilians, including 12 children, and injured over 400 people, including 50 children. Armenia's indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets destroyed over 3,410 houses, 120 multi-story residential buildings, and 512 civilian infrastructure, including numerous schools, hospitals, and kindergartens," she said.

Aliyeva stated that the Azerbaijani military liberated native lands that had been under Armenian occupation for approximately 30 years as a result of counter-offensive operations aimed at halting military aggression against our State and protecting civilian lives.

"Unfortunately, although 30 years have passed since the commission of the act of genocide in Khojaly, applying double standards, the international community has yet to establish a political and legal assessment of this brutal act, and its perpetrators have yet to be brought to justice," she concluded.

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