One of the most terrible tragedy that confronted the Azerbaijani people in the 20th century is the Khojaly genocide. It must be underlined that during 200 years Azerbaijani people was constantly submitted to the ethnic purification by the Armenian chauvinists. The Azerbaijanis were chased from their historical lands, became refugees and forced emigrants and all these were accompanied by the massacres. The expulsion of the Azerbaijanis from their historical and ethnical territories continued during the Soviet era. 1948-1953, 150 thousand Azerbaijanis were deported from Armenia and placed in Kura-Araz plain. The process had its continuation in 1960’s, 70’s and finally in 1988, 250 thousand Azerbaijanis were expulsed from this territory and thus Armenia became a mono-ethnic state. The events carried on around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988, the Armenian ideologists striving for transforming in reality a lunatic idea of so-called „Armenia from sea to sea” led to the destruction of villages, cities, to the death of tens of thousand innocent peoples, to the expulsion of hundreds of thousand Azerbaijanis from their historical lands.
The Armenian State, at the contrary of all international norms, tries to annex Nagorno-Karabakh, demonstrating at the same time its availability to commit crimes and massacres. Khojaly genocide, is one of the most tragic result of this aggressive and criminal policy. This tragedy that took place at the end of 20th century, is one of the most severe directed not only against the Azerbaijani people but also against the entire humanity. Khojaly genocide lays at the same rank with the terrible tragedies of the century as Hatin, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and My Lai. Within the night of 25 to 26 February 1992, the Armenian armed forces supported by 366 motorised infantry regiment of the armed forces of former Soviet Union had occupied Khojaly city, in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Republic of Azerbaijan (south-west of the country).
The inhabitants of Khojaly city, remained in the city until the tragic night (approximately 2,500 peoples) were forced, after starting the attack, to leave their homes in the hope to find rescue in one of the localities existing near by with the predominant Azerbaijani population. These plans were however destined to failure. The occupants destroyed Khojaly, they squared with the civil population with an unseen cruelty.
The ferocious extermination of hundreds of innocent people in Khojaly became one of the most monstrous crimes committed during the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region in the Republic of Azerbaijan and in its surroundings. The Armenian armed forces together with the mercenary troops had practically no mercy on any of the Khojaly inhabitants, who have not succeeded to leave the city and its surroundings. As consequence of the massacre 613 peoples were killed, of whom 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. 1275 inhabitants were taken as hostages, and the fate of another 150 persons has still remained unknown. During the tragedy 487 Khojaly inhabitants were mutilated, of whom 76 were children younger than one year. 8 families were entirely exterminated, 25 children lost their parents, and 130 – one of them. 56 peoples were killed with unusual brutality: burned alive, scalped, beheaded, with eyes taken out, the abdomens of pregnant women were cut.
Falsifying facts, giving with easiness their own interpreting that is far not only from reality but from elementary logic, the Armenian officials reject totally the responsibility for the crimes committed during the conflict as well as for the one committed against the population of Khojaly. However, even the most sophisticated propaganda cannot fight against the facts that witness a diametrically opposite situation to the one presented by the Armenian party.
The responsibility of Armenia is confirmed not only by the heavy facts that are at the disposal of the legislative bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, but also by the multiple independent sources, the declarations of the eyewitnesses of the tragedy and the depositions even of the Armenian military men that took part at the occupation of Khojaly. The above-showed facts confirm that the purpose of the premeditate destruction of the civil population in Khojaly on 25-26 February 1992, including women, children and elderly, was their mass extermination, only because all of them were Azerbaijanis. Khojaly has been chosen as a stage for another invasion and ethnic purification of the Azerbaijani territories, creating a panic situation and a terror toward the shocking cruelty.
As Congressman Dan Barton underlined in his speech of 17 February 2005 in United States House of Representatives “this savage cruelty against innocent women, children and elderly cannot be explained in any way, and yet absurd violence has not been finished with Khojaly. Khojaly was pure and simple the first. Actually, the degree of atrocity and the unseen massacre committed in Khojaly, became the characteristic trait of action of the Armenian forces for destruction and ethnic purification in the after war period”.
The National Assembly (the Parliament) of Azerbaijan declared 26 February “Khojaly Genocide Day”. Azerbaijani people each year at 17.00 on 26 February commemorate the victims of Khojaly by standing silently for a minute.
Khojaly inhabitants who became refugees found temporary shelter in 48 districts of Azerbaijan, and are still waiting the fair settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, ceasing the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, restoring the territorial integrity of the Republic. These make an appeal to the peoples of the world, to the states, international organisations to protect the truth and justice, to convict terrorism, ethnic purification facts, committed in Khojaly.
Those who are guilty for the tragedy of Khojaly, its organisers and executors, must receive the deserved punishment. There is no crime without punishment and such thing cannot exist. The 20th century knew several murderous pages who reflected the history of genocide and ethnic purification. Within their ranks the Khojaly tragedy is one of the most terrible. All who are in a way or in another related to this monstrous crime are, for the moment, responsible in front of their conscience only, but the time will come when they are to be hold responsible in front of the judgment of history.