The following article was contributed to the NDNnews
(www.ndnnews.co.kr) by the
Embassy of Azerbaijan. -Ed.
The crime committed in Khojaly city by Armenian armed
forces together with the 366th moto-artillery regiment of the former Soviet army dislocated in
Khankendi at the night from the 25thto 26th February of
1992, must be recognized as genocide from the international
law perspective. A lot of heavy military equipment suddenly
entered the city, the criminals annihilated with a special
cruelty the people who were forced to leave the city, totally
destroyed and burned down the houses and social infrastructure.
During the Khojaly genocide, 613 people, including 106
women, 63 children and 70 elderly were killed; hundreds of
people were severely injured; 1275 persons were taken hostages.
8 families were totally exterminated, 25 children lost both,
whereas 130 children lost one parent; captives and hostages
were subjected to merciless torture. Fundamental human
rights of those people, first of all, the right to life, were grossly violated.
This tragedy once more confirmed ethnic cleansing, genocide
and deportation policy of Armenian nationalists and their
supporters against the Azerbaijani people, lasting for a long
time, the purpose of which was to banish our compatriots
from their historical native lands and establish “Great Armenia”
state on those territories. Among these tragedies it is necessary
to emphasize the genocide committed against the Azerbaijanis
on March 31, 1918, distinguished for its serious consequences
in the world history and the 100th anniversary of which we
commemorate this year.
As a result of ethnic cleansing policy of Armenia that expanded
the scope of military aggression against Azerbaijan by
committing the Khojaly genocide and occupied Nagorno-Karabakh which is an integral part of Azerbaijan and adjacent
seven rayons, 20,000 our citizens were killed, 20 percent of
country territories were occupied, more than one million our
compatriots became refugees and IDPs, their rights were severely
violated. It should be noted that during the occupation, besides
Khojaly, the massacres in Karkijahan, Malibayli, Gushchular,
Garadagli, Agdaban villages and other settlements in Azerbaijan
Our National Leader Heydar Aliyev had a special urge on the
Khojaly genocide in 1994, and in February of the same year
the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave legal and
political recognition to the Khojaly genocide.
Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent seven regions are an integral part of
Azerbaijan. This is re-affirmed once again by the international
law, as well as by the
UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 from 1993,
UNGA Resolution on “Situation on the occupied territories of
Azerbaijan” dated on 14 March, 2008, Resolution 1416 from
2005 and Recommendation 1690 of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe, as well as European Parliament's
Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh from October 23, 2013.
However, the Armenian side regularly violates the ceasefire
regime and creates obstacles to the peace in the region
demonstrating unconstructive position as always.
The genocide policy of Armenia against the civilian population
is still continuing up to now that results in the killing of
civilians, including children.
The Azerbaijani side strives for a peaceful settlement of this
aggression continuing for about 30 years and for restoration
of peace. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
has repeatedly stated the necessity of resolution of the conflict
within the territorial integrity of our country in accordance
with the norms and principles of international law, withdrawal
of occupying forces from the Azerbaijani lands and his just
position from the tribunes of influential international organizations,
including the UN General Assembly.
As previous years, for bringing of this genocide to the attention
of the world community the Plan of Actions on commemorating
the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide was affirmed
by the relevant Decree and is being implemented.
“Justice for Khojaly” international campaign carried out in
many countries and cities at the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, plays an important
role in the recognition of the Khojaly tragedy as a genocide
act, and the genocide committed by the Armenians against
the Azerbaijanis is condemned in many countries.
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was the first
international organization that recognized Armenia as an
aggressor and the Khojaly tragedy as a genocide.
The Parliaments of Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Romania, the Czech Republic, Sudan,
Jordan and Honduras, Guatemala and Panama, Slovenia,
Djibouti and Paraguay already recognized the crime in
Khojaly basing on the international legal norms.
In addition, twenty two States of the USA namely, the State
of Massachusetts, Texas, New-Jersey, Maine, New Mexico,
Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma,
Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi,
West Virginia, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Hawaii, Montana,
Arizona, Idaho and Nevada have also passed the related Resolutions.
This massive killing of human beings, committed by the
Armenian invaders in Khojaly is an act of genocide and one
of the most severe crimes. Hence, the UN General Assembly
Resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946, states that
genocide, violating the right of people to life, damages
human dignity, and deprives the mankind of the material and
spiritual values created by human beings, is contrary to the
spirit and aims of the United Nations, as well as to universal
values and the world community condemns it.
The international legal definition of the crime of genocide
was determined in the United Nations Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted
by the Resolution 260 (III) of the UN General Assembly of 9
December 1948. The commitment of criminal acts, planned in
advance and aimed at mass annihilation of people on the
ground of their nationality in Khojaly constitutes this crime as
genocide. During the aggression against Azerbaijan, all elements
of the crime of genocide stated in the mentioned Convention
were applied. However, unfortunately, the genocide acts
against the Azerbaijani civilians throughout the history,
including Khojaly genocide has not yet get its international
legal-political assessment, organizers and the committers of this
crimes have not been prosecuted and punished, no action
has been taken in this regard.
Paying tribute to the memory of martyrs and those who died
during that tragedy and guiding with the above mentioned,
as well as norms and principles of international law, I declare
that this crime shall be investigated, by the special international
commission, recognized as an act of genocide by competent
international organizations and sanctions shall be imposed
on the perpetrators of this crime in compliance with the
norms and principles of international law and without double
standards. I urge to all states and international organizations
to recognize this act of genocide in the name of justice and
to consolidate and increase efforts for just punishment of its perpetrators.
The Khojaly genocide committed 26 years ago should be
legally and politically assessed at the international level, the
Armenian side should fulfill the decisions following from the
international legal documents on this conflict, the territorial
integrity of Azerbaijan and the violated rights of refugees
and IDPs should be restored, the Azerbaijani captives and
hostages should be liberated, and they should return to
their homes. Also the criminals who killed innocent civilians
and committed genocide should be prosecuted before the
tribunal and punished.
The Commissioner for Human Rights
(Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Statement is addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, United Nations Security Council,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
UNICEF, European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE, International
and European Ombudsman Institutes, Asian Ombudsman
Association, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and
Ombudsman Association of members States of this
Organization, European Network of Ombudsmen for Children,
International Peace Bureau, ombudsmen of different countries,
embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan abroad, as well
as the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan and organizations
of the Azerbaijani Diaspora.