Indifference towards Khojaly massacre is unacceptable
Today Azerbaijan is a strong and independent state that is respected not only in the South Caucasus region, but also in the international arena. Azerbaijan is a member of such international organizations as the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the OIC. The country has positive political image, and its economy is growing at an impressive pace. Azerbaijan is trying to build mutually beneficial partnership with many states. But there's one problem that remains unresolved, and it pains Azerbaijani people. This is, of course, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as hardships that many Azerbaijanis suffered as a result of horrible tragedy, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes in an article "Indifference towards Khojaly massacre is unacceptable".
The story of this conflict is well-known, just like the positions of both sides. According to representatives of Azerbaijan, this problem can't be resolved because Armenia is trying to present itself as a victim, and other world powers often resort to double standards policy. The latter circumstance becomes obvious if you look at what a powerful sanctions pressure Russia had to suffer after Crimea once again became a part of it. At the same time, no sanctions were imposed against Armenia after it occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Nevertheless, Azerbaijani government and diaspora don't give up and try to show the world the truth about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, especially when it comes to one of its most horrible pages - the Khojaly tragedy.
Pain of the 20th century
This tragedy that happened 26 years ago in Khojaly is called the Khojaly genocide by residents of Azerbaijan. On the night of February 25-26, 1992, Armenian troops and their patrons attacked the city of Khojaly. Mass slaughter of peaceful, unarmed population of this city occured on this night. 613 people, including elderly, children, pregnant women were subjected to aggression of armed bandits and were killed with cruelty. Another 150 Khojaly residents disappeared. 1275 people became prisoners and were tortured.
"The Khojaly tragedy is equal to genocide during the Holocaust in Guernica and Khatyn," Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Allahshukur Pashazade said in a message to world religious leaders, international organizations and the European Court of Human Rights, published recently in connection with anniversary of the Khojaly genocide. "As a result of Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani people were subjected to ethnic cleansing, physical and moral terror. Armenian extremists occupied 20% of Azerbaijan's territory. Over million Azerbaijanis were driven out of their native land. Historical, religious and cultural monuments of Karabakh were destroyed. But, despite what happened 26 years ago, terrorists haven't been punished for their crimes yet. Four resolutions of the UN Security Council haven't been implemented yet."
According to him, the world shouldn't be indifferent to Armenian aggression, as well as problems with refugees and internally displaced persons that Azerbaijan faced as a result of it. "Once again, I call on world religious leaders, parliaments, international organizations and the European Court of Human Rights. We urge them to provide political and legal assessment of the aggression and atrocities against Azerbaijani people and recognize the crime committed in Khojaly as genocide," Pashazade said.
Crimes committed against population of Khojaly - ethnic Azerbaijanis - are recognized in international legal documents as genocide and, in accordance with principles of international law, should be considered a crime against humanity. This crime is clearly directed against Azerbaijani nation.
Why is it important to recognize the Khojaly genocide
Parliaments of Mexico, Turkey, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Jordan, Honduras, Djibouti recognize genocide committed against Azerbaijanis. In addition, the events in Khojaly are recognized as a crime against humanity by Pakistan, Sudan, Israel, the Czech Republic, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Islamic Conference and by more than 20 US states. However, what's important today is to recognize the Khojaly genocide at the state level.
The Khojaly genocide is the most serious crime committed against Azerbaijanis in the 20th century. Its recognition by international community will help to bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice. And Azerbaijan believes that the order to carry out this massacre was given by current President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, who was the chief of staff of Armenian armed formations in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1992.
It must be remembered that attempts to cover up acts of genocide, indifference towards it can lead to recurrence of similar horrible events in other regions of the world. It's a huge threat, a challenge, and we must fight against it together.