The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement on the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide

February 26, 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide committed by Armenian armed forces against Azerbaijan. This is stated in a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.

The statement notes that one of the worst crimes committed against the civilian population of Azerbaijan during the decades of Armenian aggression and the most tragic page of the first Karabakh war was the destruction of the town of Khojaly and the genocide committed against the inhabitants there. More than seven thousand people lived in the town of Khojaly in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan before the conflict began.

"Since October 1991, the city has been completely besieged by Armenian armed forces. On the night of 25-26 February 1992, after massive artillery shelling, the Armenian armed forces, with the support of the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the Soviet army, the majority of whose military personnel were Armenians, captured Khojaly, the invaders destroyed it and committed genocide against the civilian population with particular cruelty.

As a result of the Khojaly genocide, 5,379 inhabitants of the town were forcibly expelled. 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 elderly, were brutally killed. 1,275 people were taken prisoner and hostage, tortured, 487 received injuries of varying severity. The fate of 150 people is still unknown, including 68 women and 26 children. 8 families were completely destroyed. 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both parents," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It is noted that the killing of civilians in Hojaly was the result of a policy of ethnic hatred and racial discrimination against Azeris carried out in Armenia at the state level. This resulted in the killing of innocent people simply because of their ethnicity. The killings in Hojaly were part of Armenia's policy of systematic violence against Azeris.

The Khojaly massacre and other crimes committed by Armenia during its aggression against Azerbaijan, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, are serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. These include violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other international conventions.

Today, the national legislatures of 17 countries, 24 American states, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Organization of Turkish States, have adopted numerous resolutions and decrees condemning the massacre of civilians in Hojaly as genocide and a crime against humanity.

The European Court of Human Rights, in its decision of 22 April 2010, considered the conduct of those responsible for the atrocities in Khojaly as war crimes or particularly serious acts amounting to crimes against humanity.

Under international law, states have an obligation to investigate crimes such as the atrocities committed by Armenian armed forces in Khojaly and to prosecute the perpetrators. However, to date, none of the perpetrators of the Hojaly killings have been brought to justice in Armenia," the statement said.

The statement notes that in an interview with British journalist Thomas de Waal, then Armenian Defence Minister and former President Serj Sargsyan, who admitted his guilt, said, "Before Khojaly, Azeris believed that Armenians were not capable of raising their hands against civilians. We destroyed this stereotype." (Thomas de Waal, "Karabakh: Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Road to Peace and War" (New York and London, New York University Press, 2003, p. 172).

"The targeting of Azerbaijani civilians continued during the military operations conducted by Armenia from 27 September to 10 November 2020. Armenia, deliberately targeting the civilian population and civilian infrastructure of Azerbaijani towns such as Ganja, Barda and Terter, located far from the front lines where the fighting was taking place, resorted to the same terrorist tactics as in 1992. This time, Armenia, using modern types of armoured vehicles, rockets and cluster munitions, again illegally targeted and killed Azeri civilians.

Azerbaijan believes that ongoing measures taken at the national level and within the framework of existing international law will serve to end impunity and bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes committed during Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan," the Foreign Ministry said.

Search in archive