Nationwide march held in Baku on the occasion of 20th anniversary of Khojaly genocide
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev participates in the march
Baku, February 26 (AZERTAC). A nationwide march was held in Baku on February 26 on the occasion of one of the most heinous and bloodiest tragedies of the 20th century – the Khojaly genocide. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev participated in the march.
The nationwide march, which began from the Azadlyg square in the capital, brought together over 85 thousand people. They gathered to pay tribute to victims of the Khojaly tragedy and draw the attention of the world community to this crime against humanity committed by Armenian aggressors.
From the Azadlyg square, participants of the march with President Ilham Aliyev in the front row proceeded to the monument to the Khojaly genocide victims mounted in the Khatai district of Baku. Young people who stood along the avenues and streets the tremendous march proceeded had in their hands portraits of innocents victims of the bloody massacre – children, women and elders killed with extreme cruelty – photos depicting abominable scenes of events, which happened 20 years ago, banners demanding to bring to account and punish perpetrators of the tragic events, give an objective political and legal assessment to the massacre at an international level, placards with names and surnames of victims of genocide, saying “The world must recognize the Khojaly genocide”, “Justice for Khojaly”, “Do not forget Khojaly” “No to Armenian fascism!”. Participants of the march had in their hands similar placards as well.
There was sorrow on the faces of people and it is a testimony to the fact that horrors of the bloody atrocity against civilians of Khojaly have not been obliterated from their memory for the past 20 years. The name of this Azerbaijani town ruined in one night now is called along with Hatyn, Lidice and Song My.
In general, this nationwide march can be considered the climax of the large-scale work carried out by Azerbaijan so that the world could know better about the truth on Khojaly and fully realize that indifference to barbarism committed in late 20th century before the eyes of the civilized humanity, impunity of those guilty of the death of hundreds of civilians may lead to repetition of such tragedies in any place on the planet.
The march also became the demonstration of unity of the people of Azerbaijan, their respect to the memory of shahids, determination to do everything in order to liberate occupied lands of Azerbaijan and restore territorial integrity of the country.
A ceremonial guard of honor was lined up at the monument to the Khojaly genocide victims.
President Ilham Aliyev laid a wreath at the monument to the Khojaly genocide victims and paid respect to the tragedy victims.
Flowers at the monument were laid by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov, Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva.
Flowers at the monument were also placed by state and government officials, members of the Milli Majlis, ministers, heads of committees and companies, representatives of the diplomatic corps, heads of religious confessions as well as residents of Khojaly who escaped the bloody massacre.
Participants of the nationwide march revered with sorrow the memory of victims of the genocide. They chanted slogans “Justice for Khojaly”, “Do not forget Khojaly”, “Khojaly – genocide of the century”.
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The atrocity committed by Armenians on the night of February 25-26, 1992 in the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh will go down forever in history of Azerbaijan with bloody letters. That night, Armenian armed groups with the assistance of the Khankendi-based 366th motorized infantry regiment of the former Soviet army attacked this ancient Azerbaijani town and committed merciless massacre against civilians. Khojaly was weakened by the months-long blockade, and few defenders of the town failed to repulse the attack of heavily-armed Armenian militants. The bloody statistics of the Khojaly genocide is as follows: of three thousand people who were in the town at the moment of assault 613 were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elders; 487 people were severely wounded, including 76 children; 1275 persons were taken hostage and subjected to outrageous torture; the fate of 150 people still remains unknown. Eight families were totally exterminated. Even impartial figures are horrifying. These people were mercilessly murdered, tortured and disabled solely because of their ethnic background, only for being Azerbaijanis.
Armenians` punitive action was deliberately planned and its only objective was to partially or completely wipe out peaceful people because of their nationality. These actions are defined as “genocide” under international law, which must be recognized by the world community.
As President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev says in his message to the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the tragedy`s 20th anniversary, the Khojaly genocide, which happened in late 20th century before the eyes of the world and was marked by cruelty and brutality, was the bloodiest page of the aggressive policy of Armenian nationalists.
“The political and legal responsibility for this grave crime directly rests with the then and present leadership of Armenia, separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Head of State says in his message.
The government of Azerbaijan has been taking all necessary measures to make the truth about the Khojaly tragedy known to the world and have it recognized as an act of genocide against the Azerbaijani people.
Purposeful activity in this regard started with national leader Heydar Aliyev`s returning to political power in Azerbaijan. At the national leader`s initiative the political and legal assessment was given to the Khojaly tragedy, February 26 was declared the Day of the Khojaly genocide. Initiated in 2009 by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, general coordinator for intercultural dialogue of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum Leyla Aliyeva, the “Justice for Khojaly” international campaign, boosted the awareness-increasing activity even more. Thanks to the work carried out as part of this campaign the terrible evidences of the 20 year-old tragedy have been brought to the attention of wide international community, millions of people in all corners of the world became aware of the true face of Armenian nationalists, who stop at nothing including the murder of children for realization of their ridiculous ideas.
The Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation recognized Armenians` atrocities as the “mass crime against humanity” and called on the member countries to give the relevant political and legal assessment to this tragedy. The parliaments of Pakistan and Mexico adopted resolutions recognizing this massacre as an act of genocide.
Supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, events in commemoration of victims of the Khojaly genocide have been held in 100 countries across the world this year. Participants of these events are given the Foundation-made material, including booklets, photo albums and books on history of Karabakh and on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The events feature documentary films on Armenians` violence, and also include exhibitions of children`s drawings. The commemorative events in fraternal Turkey, the UK and several other European states, and in many Muslim countries caused wide public response.
President Ilham Aliyev says in his message: “By committing the Khojaly genocide the enemy aimed to scare the Azerbaijani people, prevent them from their struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to annex our lands. However, this appalling tragedy made our people only stronger and mobilized our heroic sons and daughters for a resolute and organized struggle for the holy motherland and national statehood.”
The Head of State expressed confidence that “sooner or later the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide will be brought to justice and get the punishment they deserve, the blood of our shahids will be avenged”.
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All day long on February 26 people havebeen streaming towards the monument to the Khojaly genocide. Hundreds of thousands of people visited the memorial, placed flowers at its foot and prayed for the peace of the souls of shahids. All of them expressed hope that Azerbaijan`s right voice would be heard, Armenians` crimes would be condemned internationally, the perpetrators of the Khojaly massacre would get a fair punishment. They also expressed confidence that the Azerbaijani people would soon liberate all occupied lands and restore the country`s territorial integrity.
Text contains orthographic mistake
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