We Demand Justice for Khojaly!
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On 26 February 1992, the international community was shocked and outraged by the news of the grave international crime committed by the armed forces of Armenia in the town of Khojaly in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. After keeping the town in blockade for several months and shelling it for weeks, the Armenian military seized Khojaly and committed one of the most despicable and barbaric acts against innocent civilians - the massacre which came to be known as the Khojaly Genocide. The invading military spared none and slaughtered 613 civilians, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. A large number of victims were slain with particular cruelty.
The Khojaly Genocide is a widely documented fact supported by reports from international human rights organizations and foreign media. Moreover, perpetrators and organizers of this heinous crime, including former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, confessed to the deliberate mass killing of Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly, blatantly calling it a way to “break stereotypes”.
The inherent elements of the acts committed in Khojaly qualify them as a crime of genocide, as defined by the international law, including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Unfortunately, despite the existence of irrefutable facts, including crime scene photos and videos, as well as the testimonies of hundreds of victims, not a single person has been held accountable for the ferocious crimes committed in Khojaly. Impunity for the committed acts remains a major stumbling block for justice – a crucial element for achieving durable peace in the region. Now, as the conflict is over and Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is restored, it is time to bring perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide to justice to ensure sustainable peace in the long-suffering Caucasus region. Justice and peace go hand in hand. Furthermore, recognition and standing up for the truth are important not only for relieving the victims’ sorrow, but also for ensuring that such mass atrocities and genocides never happen again.
We believe that with your support, justice for the victims of the Khojaly Genocide is achievable. Therefore, we join “Justice for Khojaly” Campaign (www.justiceforkhojaly.org) in writing to you with the request of taking all necessary measures at your disposal to contribute to the elimination of the consequences of this massacre and to restoring peace and security in the region. More specifically, we call on your support in advancing the following goals:
- Condemning globally the massacre in Khojaly and recognizing it as genocide and crime against humanity;
- Compelling the Armenian Government to issue an official apology, and offer appropriate assurance and guarantees for non-repetition of such crimes;
- Holding all the perpetrators of this genocide accountable.
We are not seeking revenge! We demand justice!
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