Ambassador: The Armenian people must bring Khojaly killers to justice for the sake of a peaceful neighborhood

Baku, February 25, AZERTAC
Malaysian BERNAMA news agency has published an article by Azerbaijani ambassador to Malaysia Irfan Davudov headlined “30 years on, still pursuing justice for Khojaly victims”.
The article reads: “The Azerbaijani people worldwide will commemorate and honour the memory of the victims of the Khojaly tragedy that occurred on the night of February 25 to February 26, 1992.
February 26 was also declared by the government as the “Day of the Khojaly Genocide”. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the tragedy, which is still fresh in the minds of millions of Azerbaijanis - both in Azerbaijan as well as their Diaspora.
They are longing for justice for Khojaly, to be meted out against the perpetrators and collaborators, so that such inhumane acts will not happen again to anyone, anywhere in the world.
They believe if justice is not served for the victims, surviving victims and their families, it will only encourage other future perpetrators in the world to commit similar atrocities against innocent civilians.
In the post-Second World War, the world had witnessed similar massacres in different parts of the world.
According to Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khojaly is a town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan with a total area of 0.94 sq.km, which was home to a population of 7,000 before the conflict.
The Khojaly tragedy refers to the killing of 613 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians in February 1992 in Khojaly, a small town in the mountainous region. According to the Azerbaijani government's statistics, the number included 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly people. Besides that, 1,275 people were taken as hostages while 150 more are still missing.
Azerbaijan's ambassador to Malaysia Irfan Davudov said the people and the government of Azerbaijan believe the tragedy would not happen if not because of the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, and that the Khojaly tragedy was another consequence of that policy of illegal occupation that time, which they accused was perpetrated by “Armenian nationalists and their supporters” against the Azerbaijani people.
In a statement to Bernama, he also said that it was essential to note that the crime committed in the town of Khojaly should be seen as a serious breach of international law.
"Simply, it is a war crime and crime against humanity," he said, adding that there has been increasing awareness over the years on the Khojaly tragedy among the international community. Currently, the Khojaly tragedy is recognised and commemorated by parliamentary acts adopted in numerous countries.
Davudov said the involvement of those people Azerbaijan is accusing of is confirmed by numerous facts, including investigative records, testimonies of the eyewitnesses, evidences from international media sources, and reports of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.
He explained that the Azerbaijani government will continue its cause on the international arena to recognise the killings as an act of genocide.
"Many of perpetrators are still alive. For the sake of sustainable peace in our neighbourhood, people of Armenia must bring those persons to the justice instead of dragging this hard and sinful burden. It will not be easy for the young generations of Armenia to face the outcomes of this responsibility," he said, adding that Baku always intends to have a good relations with Armenia in the interest of both peoples.
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia started in 1988 - three years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 - following Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
And in 1992, war broke out between the two former Soviet states, resulting in Armenia’s occupation of 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognised territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.
Following the Second Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan which erupted on September 27, 2020, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020, to end the fighting and work towards the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.
Last year, on the 29th anniversary of the commemoration of the tragedy, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, had paid tribute to all those who lost their lives in the massacre.
The OIC General Secretariat also reiterated that the Khojaly incident was a result of the illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories.”

Days of sorrow 2022-02-25 17:04:00