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Declaration of Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the 15th Anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide

February 26 this year is the 15th anniversary of the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly town of Nagorno Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.  On these mournful days the people of Azerbaijan respectfully commemorates a good memory of innocent people, who became the victims of barbarism of belligerent Armenian chauvinists. 
Khojaly became a symbol of brutality and impunity for the people of Azerbaijan. Being one of the gravest crimes against the humanity, the brutal mass extermination of peaceful civilians is of the same rank with the great tragedies of the XX century such as Khatin, Lidiche and Babi Yar.  
By scale, the Khojaly genocide is the most terrible one among the extermination acts committed against peaceful Azerbaijani population in the course of an aggressive war conducted by the Republic of Armenia to occupy the Nagorno Garabagh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Theretofore, during the occupation of Imarat Garvand, Tugh, Salakatin, Akhullu, Khocavand, Jamilli, Nabilar, Meshali, Hasanabad, Karkijahan, Gaybali, Malibayli, Upper and Lower Gushchular and Garadaghli villages inhabited by Azerbaijanis, a part of the population of those settlements were killed with particular brutality.
The second big residential settlement after Shuha in Nagorno Garabagh - Khojaly was the following target of Armenian armed groups. The town had around 7 thousand population. A part of Azerbaijanis driven from their ancestral lands in the Republic of Armenia and 54 households of Meshetian Turks evicted from Fargana in 1989 settled down in the town as well. 
The plan to annihilate the Khojaly city and exterminate its population on a mass scale was drawn up in advance. Aggressive Armenian chauvinists appealed to the organization of mass extermination of Azerbaijanis in mass media and meetings. 
Since November of 1991 the town had been in blockade; the communication between Khojaly and external environment was maintained only through a radiophone and civil helicopters. On January 28, 1992 a civil helicopter of MI-8 type owned by “Azerbaijan Airlines” State Company was shot down on Nagorno Garabagh space by Armenian armed units killing 47 Azerbaijani passengers. Afterwards, an air communication with the town was interrupted, too. On January 2, supply of electric power to the town was prevented. The town was defended only by the local self-defense detachments having firing arms. Certainly, these forces were not able to put up resistance against the armed units supplied with modern defense technology and passed a special training in advance. 
Starting from the second half of February Khojaly had been completely surrounded by Armenian armed units. All efforts to break out a blockade by the peaceful civilians in group or individual forms were prevented. 
On the night from the 25th to 26th February, 1992 the attack to Khojaly was launched. The armed units of the Republic of Armenia, Armenian terrorist groups in Nagorno Garabagh and infantry regiment No 366 of the former Soviet army located in Garabagh took part in the attack. Within some hours the town was razed to the ground without any military necessity. 613 peaceful residents of Khojaly, including 63 children and 106 women were killed with torture. 8 families were annihilated completely. 487 people became disabled. 1275 residents – elders, children, and women were taken into hostage and subjected to unthinkable insults, torture and humiliation. The destiny of 150 hostages, including 68 women and 26 children is still unknown.
Thus, bringing up several generations of Armenian people in the spirit of national exception, hostility against the people of Azerbaijan over more than last hundred year period resulted in a bloody tragedy like the Khojaly genocide beforehand the eyes of civilized world at the end of the XX century.
The nature and scale of terrible crimes committed in Khojaly proves that this genocide act fully complies with the definition indicated in the Convention “On Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” adopted by Resolution No 260 (III) of the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1948. Mass and severe extermination act planned in advance was committed with the aim to annihilate the people living in that territory just for the fact that they were Azerbaijanis. Wild butchers skinned heads, cut off various limbs of people, dug out eyes of young children, thrust expectant mothers, burnt or buried alive people, mined a part of corpses. The people trying to escape from the burning town were given no quarter, peaceful residents were killed with a particular brutality by Armenian servicemen making an ambush on roads and forests. As is known, commitment of analogous acts within a limited geographical zone was prescribed as a crime of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.  
The attack operations to Khojaly were guided by the officers of motorized of a dummy body established by the Republic of Armenia in the Nagorno Garabagh region), Yevgeniy Nabokich and Valeriy Chitchyan. Today, the names of several military servants, as well as other persons who took an active part in the crime of genocide against the peaceful civilians is known to the Azerbaijani side. Following the military operations in Khojaly the motorized infantry regiment No 366 was hastily removed from Nagorno Garabagh and sent to Georgia in order to lose the track of its involvement in the crime. Meanwhile, a great part of technology was handled to the Armenian detachments and utilized in subsequent criminal acts against the Azerbaijani population.  
The act of genocide against the residents of Khojaly was a new stage of ethnic cleansing policy of the Republic of Armenia during the occupation of the Nagorno Garabagh region. The aim of this terrible crime was to scare the peaceful population defending their motherland and break down its will to fight, complicate a political situation in the country and thus, facilitate occupation of the Azerbaijani territories. Alongside with this, with a great military support of some foreign states, the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia ended the occupation of the Nagorno Garabagh region, which couldn’t recover soon after the Khojaly tragedy, within a short period and launched an occupation plan of the neighboring regions.
The propaganda conducted to acquit Armenian servicemen brutally who punished peaceful civilians in Khojaly and their protectors is still going on today.  It is claimed that the attack to Khojaly aimed as if to destroy the “fire points” in the town, a peaceful population was not subjected to any violence.  According to the so called propagandists, allegedly Azerbaijanis living in Khojaly killed each other and then committed suicide with torture. Sometimes, their impudence reach to such extent that they introduce the bloody extermination scenes videotaped or shot in Khojaly to the international community as criminal acts perpetrated by Azerbaijanis against Armenians.  
The scale of false Armenian propaganda is further expanded year-by-year. Armenian chauvinists try to justify their territorial pretensions to the neighboring states, including the Republic of Azerbaijan using all means to conceal aggressive, genocide and state terrorism policy selected for this purpose, and to make fictions about the Armenian genocide allegedly they had been subject to in 1915 confirmed on the international level. These efforts also bring dirty political “dividends” to their authors in certain cases. The fact that parliaments of separate states shut their eyes to the Khojaly tragedy as a crime of genocide under the influence or turn the legend of “Armenian genocide” to the topic for discussions based on political situation, even adopt groundless and unfair acts in this regard is a cause for mere regret.
Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan considers that the Khojaly Genocide should be never forgotten and receive international legal evaluation by the world community. The ideologists, organizers and executors of tragedy should be detained and punished as they deserve. 
Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan appeals to the United Nations Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe, European Union, Organization of Islamic Conference, Commonwealth of Independent States, other international organizations, parliaments and governments of the world states to recognize and criticize the Khojaly genocide perpetrated by Armenian chauvinists, to take effective measures to prevent further commitment of such crimes, to contribute to the peaceful solution of Armenia – Azerbaijan, Nagorno Garabagh conflict in compliance with jointly adopted norms and principles of the international law, especially with the basic principle of territorial integrity of states.  
Calling for execution of the UN Security Council Resolutions No 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted in 1993 regarding immediate and implicit liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani territories, Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan urges to solve the Nagorno Garabagh problem based on the decisions and final documents of the OSCE Budapest, Lisbon and Istanbul summits, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution No 1416.  
The parliament of Azerbaijan urges the Armenian side to take constructive position, withdraw armed forces from the occupied territories and recognize territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.  
Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan expressing the sovereign will of the people of Azerbaijan states once more that the Republic of Azerbaijan could never agree with deprived sovereignty in certain of its territory, occupation and deprivation of its eternal lands and will recover its territorial integrity by all possible means, achieve the real international legal and political evaluation of the Khojaly tragedy and punishment of its ideologists, organizers and executors. 


(The Declaration was adopted at the meeting of Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan on February 27, 2007.)

 

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