DAYS OF SORROW


Azerbaijani Ombudsman issues statement on 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide

Baku, February 2, AZERTAC

Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudswoman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova issued a statement on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide, press service of the Ombudswoman Office reported.

The statement reported that Khojaly Genocide, which was a part of Armenian aggressive policy against Azerbaijan and resulted in mass violation of the norms and principles of international law, human rights and freedoms, is another terrible example of long-term ethnic cleansing and genocide policy carried out by the Armenian nationalists and their supporters against Azerbaijan: 'Despite already 25 years pass from the tragedy, this genocide has not been legally assessed in the international scope.'

The crime committed in Khojaly city at the night from 25th to 26th February of 1992, by the Armenian armed forces together with the 366th moto-artillery regiment of the former Soviet army in Khankendi was one of the unprecedented events due to its cruelty.

Khojaly genocide resulted with severe violation of international legal norms and principles as well as of human rights and freedoms and as an integral part of the aggressive policy against Azerbaijan, became another evidence of long-lasting ethnic cleansing and genocide policy of Armenian extremists and their supporters against the Azerbaijani people.

During Khojaly genocide, 613 people, whose names were known, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 old people were killed; over 1000 civilians became disabled as a result of severe injuries; 1275 people were taken hostages, the fate of 150 out of them still remains unknown. 8 families were totally exterminated; 25 children lost both, whereas 130 children lost one parent; captives and hostages were subjected to merciless torture. Thus, human rights of those people, especially the fundamental right to life were grossly violated.

As the Soviet leadership did not give any political assessment to the demonstrations staged by the Armenians since February 1988, claiming annexation of Nagorno Karabakh, it led to the occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani historical lands, including Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding seven districts. As a result, over 20,000 people were killed; more than 50,000 people were injured and became disabled; many Azerbaijani soldiers became prisoners of war and civilians were taken hostage; up to now one million Azerbaijanis are still living in their homeland as refugees and IDPs.

This massive killing of human beings, committed by the Armenian invaders, unambiguously, is an act of genocide due to its unimaginable cruelty and tortures. Hence, under international law, genocide is considered to be one of the gravest crimes and the elements of this crime are determined in a number of legal documents. 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 and universal values and the civilized 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 during the Khojaly massacre 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, though the commitment of such terrible acts of genocide against the Azerbaijani civilians, all these facts, including Khojaly genocide have been not yet properly assessed, the planners, organizers and the committers of this crimes were not prosecuted and punished, no action has been taken yet.

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 March 14, 2008, Resolution 1416 from 2005 and Recommendation 1669 from 2009 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe confirming the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian military forces, and governing of Nagorno-Karabakh by separatists. As a consequence, over one million of the Azerbaijani people became refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), whose main rights and freedoms were severely violated.

Armenia, being accepted as a member to the Council of Europe, has undertaken several international obligations according to the Opinion No. 221 of the Parliamentary Assembly, such as obligations to pursue efforts to settle the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh by only peaceful means; according to the principles of international law to settle international and local disputes also by peaceful means by resolutely rejecting any threatened use offered against its neighbors. However, those obligations have not been fulfilled; the Armenian side demonstrating unconstructive position regularly violates the ceasefire regime and creates obstacles to the peace in the region.

The European Parliament Resolution of 23 October, 2013 on Nagorno-Karabakh also re-affirms the support of just position of our State by the international community and the fact of occupation. This document denotes once again the importance of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in conformity with the UN Security Council relevant Resolutions of 1993 that requires immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of all occupant forces out of the territories of Azerbaijan. Regrettably, no relevant actions have been taken yet and the historical territories of Azerbaijan still remain under the occupation.

The Statement further runs: ”Our National Leader Heydar Aliyev unveiled the essence of Khojaly genocide and in February, 1994, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave legal and political recognition to this crime. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev underlines resolutely the necessity of this conflict resolution only in the frame of territorial integrity of the country as well as emphasizes the necessity of withdrawal of occupant forces from the Azerbaijani territories.

Drawing the attention of international community to the realities of Azerbaijan, including Khojaly tragedy is one of our important duties. Comprehensive information about terror and genocide acts against our people, as well as about Khojaly genocide was given in a number of international conferences and events; and relevant statements were sent to international organizations and ombudsman institutions of different countries.

International campaign "Justice for Khojaly" initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, is one of the purposeful measures taken for dissemination in the world of the information about the Khojaly genocide and recognition of this tragedy as an act of genocide committed against the people of Azerbaijan.

Drawing the attention of international community to the realities of Azerbaijan, including Khojaly tragedy is one of our important duties. Comprehensive information about terror and genocide acts against our people, as well as about Khojaly genocide was given in a number of international conferences and events; and relevant statements were sent to international organizations and ombudsman institutions of different countries”.

International campaign "Justice for Khojaly" initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, is one of the purposeful measures taken for dissemination in the world of the information about the Khojaly genocide and recognition of this tragedy as an act of genocide committed against the people of Azerbaijan.

Within last years, these are certain revivals in actions taken towards the promotion of our just demands; the bloody crime committed in Khojaly is getting recognized in compliance with the norms of international law”.

The Statement underlines: “Efforts of international organizations towards the resolution of this conflict should be realized according to the norms and principles of international law without double standards. Sanctions should be imposed on Armenia by competent international organizations. Armenia should renounce its territorial claims and implement the provisions of international documents adopted in connection with this conflict as well as should stop occupation and aggression. Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, the violated rights of refugees and IDPs should be restored and they should return to their native lands, captives and hostages should be liberated.

At the same time, it should be noted that, human rights activists and representatives of non-governmental organizations and civil society of Armenia and Azerbaijan put forward Armenia-Azerbaijan Platform for Peace, which aims at a peaceful solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict within the norms of international law”.

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