American Recognition for the Khojaly Massacre
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Between 25 and 26 February 1992, 613 civilian Azerbaijanis were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly persons, and 1275 persons were taken hostage on the sole ground that they were Azerbaijanis.
Some were killed at point blank range, scalped or burned alive. Others had their eyes gouged or decapitated. 150 people have been reported missing so far.
This systematic massacre of a population took place in the town of KHOJALY, a city of Nagorno-Karabakh in territory belonging to AZERBAIJAN, but claimed and occupied by Armenia.
Human Rights Watch called the events of Khojaly "the largest massacre of the conflict" and condemned the Armenian forces actions. News organizations such as the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Times, The Sunday Times, and Time stated that it was the Armenian forces who were responsible.
Most importantly, the current president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan told British journalist Thomas De Waal, "Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought they were only joking with us. They thought the Armenians were people who could not raise their hands against a civilian population. We were able to break that (stereotype)."
This massacre has been recognized by over 20 states in the United States. Last year, it was recognized by both Montana and Idaho and this year it was condemned by Arizona and Nevada.
Yet America, the traditional protector of human rights, who rightly attaches great importance to commemorations, war crimes and crimes against humanity, must not be an exception to such a tragedy. America recognized the Holocaust, Cambodian Genocide, and the Screbenica Massacre. The Khojaly Massacre must be recognized as well.
What counts in a duty of memory is the memory of the victims and not the origin of the executioners.
Under the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Genocide of 1948, the Khojaly Massacre counts because the victims were murdered just because they were Azerbaijanis.
The recognition of such a massacre will prevent a murdered population from being killed twice; first by the cruelty of the actions, and the second time by forgetting.
It has been 25 years since the slaughter of innocent civilians in Khojaly took place. We want the American government and international organizations to recognize the existence of this massacre.
My initiative has only one aim: to advocate the cause of these forgotten victims.
Please sign this petition. Thank you.
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