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Thursday August 18 2022

Armenia's century-long anti-Azerbaijan crimes

31 March 2022 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Armenia's century-long anti-Azerbaijan crimes

By Vugar Khalilov

On March 29, local media outlets stated that human remains had been discovered in the Khojaly region's Farrukh village in Karabakh.

It was noted that the bones were uncovered during the earthworks carried out by Azerbaijani servicemen to strengthen their positions in the area.

The bones are assumed to be those of Azerbaijani troops who died in the struggle for the Farrukh height during the first Karabakh war or civilians who tried to escape the Khojaly genocide in the early 1990s.

However, this is not the first time evidence of Armenia's ethnic cleansing campaign against innocent Azerbaijanis has been revealed.

Armenia consistently pursued a strategy of systematic murder throughout the 20th century, as evidenced by the numerous mass graves of Azerbaijanis discovered around the country.

Mass graves

On February 24, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons Working Group, said that the mass grave was discovered in liberated Kojavand region’s Edilli village based on collected statements and materials.

During its search, the commission discovered additional mass graves near the liberated cities of Aghdam, Fuzuli, Khojavand, and Shusha.

"Edilli was used as a concentration and torture camp for Azerbaijani POWs and captured civilians by Armenian forces. 4,000 Azerbaijanis still missing since the first Karabakh war," Azerbaijani Presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev wrote on Twitter.

Shamsi Shikhaliyev, a witness to the massacre, said that on August 28, 1993, while on his way to Fuzuli to help his family with transportation, he was kidnapped by Armenians and held captive for 48 days.

He recalled that during the first Karabakh war (1988-1994), the bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen killed in Fuzuli were transported in trucks and buried in excavated holes in Edilli village.

Prior to the Khojaly genocide, Armenians committed the worst tragedy in Khojavand region. The Garadaghli genocide was a stain on humanity, and heinous atrocities were committed in Akhullu, Tugh, Salaketin, and Edilli villages at the end of the 20th century. The tragic days in Khojavand villages started in 1988 when the Armenian separatist movement in Karabakh began.

Garadaghli, Akhullu, Tugh, Salaketin, and Edilli fought valiantly against the Armenian invaders for several years. During those years, hundreds of villagers were killed in unequal battles with Armenian armed forces.

Azerbaijan identified a burial place of civilians killed by the Armenian armed forces in Kalbajar region's Bashlibel village during the first Karabakh war in the early 1990s.

On April 18, 1993, the Armenian armed forces equipped with automatic and large-caliber weapons began firing on caves where helpless civilians were hiding. As a result, 12 unarmed persons (a 12-year-old child, a 16-year-old teenager, including six women and six men) were deliberately killed.

Following the attack, 14 persons (three children aged two, 13, and 15, including 10 women, four men) were taken hostage.

Residents of Bashlibel village who survived later approached the caves where their compatriots had been killed on the night of May 12, 1993, and left the scene after burying the bodies of 12 persons in two rows (six graves in each row).

Khojaly Genocide

The Khojaly genocide is seen as the pinnacle of the systematic crimes and atrocities committed by Armenia against Azerbaijanis.

Some 613 Azerbaijanis, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 elders were brutally murdered on the ground of national identity in Khojaly in 1992.

A series of previous horrible acts had preceded this one. In Gazakh region's Baghanis-Ayrim village, Armenians set fire to roughly 20 buildings, killing eight Azerbaijanis. A family of five was burned alive, including a 39-day-old infant.

Armenian army killed 12 and injured 15 Azerbaijanis in Garadaghli and Meshali villages of Khojavand and Asgaran regions between June and December 1991.

In August and September of that year, Armenian military detachments bombed buses on the Shusha-Jamilli, Aghdam-Khojavand, and Aghdam-Garadaghli routes, 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.

March genocide of 1918

On March 31, Azerbaijan commemorates the 104th anniversary of the genocide committed by Armenians against Azerbaijani civilians in the early 20th century.

In 1918, the Armenian gangs committed acts of genocide against the civilian population almost on the entire territory of Azerbaijan. More than 50,000 Azerbaijani citizens became victims of Armenian fascism over five months.

Azerbaijanis were exposed to a genocide in Baku, Guba province, Shamakhi, Gusar, Erivan, Nakhchivan, Zangazur, Karabakh, Lankaran and practically all Azerbaijani lands.

The Guba genocide cemetery was discovered on April 1, 2007, during excavations in the area. After that, the staff of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences conducted extensive research on the mass grave. As a result of the research, it was determined that the cemetery was connected with the genocide committed by Armenians against the local civilian population in 1918.

The Guba Genocide Memorial Complex, established with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, opened on September 18, 2013.

Azerbaijan’s stance, int’l reaction

Azerbaijan runs campaigns to inform the world community about Armenian atrocities against its people and to hold Armenia accountable for its brutal state policies, which still continue.

Armenia refuses to share information about the fate of about 4,000 Azerbaijanis, who went missing during the first Karabakh war in the early 1990s.

Humanitarian issues were one of the main topics of a virtual meeting attended by French President Emanuel Macron, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, European Council President Charles Michel and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on February 4.

At the meeting, Aliyev underlined that Armenia had to provide information about the mass graves of 3,890 missing Azerbaijani citizens (including 71 children, 267 women and 326 elderly people). The presidents of France and the European Council both supported this issue.

Later, Armenia's denial of its international humanitarian obligations, as well as promises made during the abovementioned meeting, is completely outside the moral, ethical, and legal framework in light of Azerbaijan's discovery and return of the bodies of 1,708 Armenian servicemen.

Despite the fact that there is ample evidence and proof of Armenia's ethnic cleansing policy, there has been no meaningful response to these crimes against humanity, and Azerbaijan has been subjected to double standards.

In this context, the European Parliament's resolution of March 10, 2022, on the purported destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in Karabakh, revealed once again double standards and a biased attitude against Azerbaijan.

Considering all of the aforementioned facts, Armenia may readily be labeled as a state of terror.

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