Film on Khojaly tragedy premieres in Los Angeles
On February 21, 2017 a documentary film highlighting the 1992 Khojaly Massacre premiered at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The Khojaly Massacre was committed by the armed forces of Armenia against the Azerbaijani civilians on February 26, 1992 in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Called “the largest massacre in the conflict” between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Human Rights Watch, the massacre resulted in the murder of 613 Azerbaijani civilians, including over 250 children, women and the elderly. In 2015, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling corroborating the facts of the massacre and naming its perpetrators.
Titled “Running from the Darkness”, the documentary was filmed by Los Angeles filmmakers, led by a local organization J-Connect. The premiere screening was hosted at the Museum of Tolerance of the world-famous Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is one of the biggest (400,000 families) and most influential Jewish human rights organizations in the world. The Museum of Tolerance is one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to Holocaust.
The screening was attended by mayors and councilmembers of various cities of the Los Angeles County, other elected officials, consuls general and honorary consuls of various countries, representatives of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, State Department and other federal and state government bodies, renowned faith leaders representing Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other religions, mass media, influential leaders of different ethnic communities (Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Macedonian, Pakistani, Hispanic, Jewish, Iranian, Turkish, etc.) of Los Angeles and others.
Opening the event, Director of the Museum of Tolerance Dr. Liebe Geft said that despite many tragedies the people of Azerbaijan had to endure in its recent history, Azerbaijan has been able to maintain its centuries-old traditions of interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism.
Speaking afterwards, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev stressed the importance of holding onto the values of interfaith tolerance and harmony in the face of hatred and tragedy, what, in his words, Azerbaijan has been able to do during the last 25 years since the Khojaly Massacre. Describing the film as a story of survival of tolerance against intolerance and stressing the need to educate wider audiences about what happened in Khojaly in 1992 so that similar tragedies do not occur again, the Consul General thanked the filmmakers for masterfully capturing the whole story of this crime against humanity.
Presenting the film, the Board President of J-Connect Josh Kaplan said: “At J-Connect, our organization understands history and the importance of tolerance and cooperation. We react at a base level when we see innocent people and their communities destroyed simply because of their identities. When I learned about the massacre in Khojaly, I knew then that there was an important story that needed to be told. With the world in such turmoil we felt that a story of this complexity, of this emotion and passion was important for the world to hear about in an unbiased and thoughtful manner. We partnered with One Wish Project, a film company whose mission it is to capture powerful stories and bring them to life… The fact that what happened in Khojaly is unknown to most was a huge motivating factor in creating this film. We live in a world that is committed to recognizing and preventing genocide, and yet without recognition and awareness of this tragedy, our world remains at great risk for another Khojaly…”
Then the film was screened. Based on interviews with many survivors of the Khojaly Massacre as well with U.S. elected officials, reporters, academic experts, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders of Los Angeles and an Armenian human rights advocate, the film vividly tells the horrific story of the tragedy. The documentary also highlights how Azerbaijan, confronted with Khojaly tragedy as well as the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of around 20% of its sovereign territory by neighboring Armenia in the early 1990s, did not allow the hatred and intolerance to take hold of itself, but on the contrary worked actively to strengthen its age-old identity and traditions of interfaith harmony and tolerance.
Following the well-received screening, Consul General asked the renowned Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders of Los Angeles, namely Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and Mahomed Khan, to pray for the victims of Khojaly as well as for peace and tolerance. The joint prayer in accordance with the traditions of all three Abrahamic religions was enthusiastically received by the audience.
At the event, the aforementioned faith leaders were presented with Interfaith Tolerance Awards established this year by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, honoring the faith leaders’ profound and long-standing engagement in promoting peace, tolerance and harmony among all religions.
The event concluded with the performance of Azerbaijani and European classical music.
- 24.11.2017ICRC expresses readiness to facilitate handover of Azerbaijani soldier
- 24.11.2017‘Justice for Khojaly!’ int’l campaign presented in Morocco
- 24.11.2017State Committee: 265 Azerbaijani women went missing during Karabakh conflict
- 24.11.2017“14 Azerbaijani children killed in Armenian terror during ceasefire”
- 23.11.2017Armenian armed forces hold next exercises in occupied Azerbaijani territories
- 23.11.2017EU official: Countries affected by conflicts should benefit from EU countries’ experience
- 23.11.2017Zakharova comments on availability of ‘Putin Plan’ for Karabakh settlement
- 23.11.2017Ilham Aliyev: Armenia wants to keep status-quo for as long as possible
- 23.11.2017Stoltenberg: No military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
- 23.11.2017EU supports Minsk Group co-chairs’ efforts towards Karabakh conflict settlement, says commissioner
- 23.11.2017Zabelin: Azerbaijan has right to reclaim Karabakh
- 23.11.2017Patriarch Kirill: Religious leaders’ co-op aimed at Karabakh conflict settlement is ‘an example of peacekeeping mission’
- 23.11.2017France does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh: Foreign Ministry
- 22.11.2017Baku reacts to statement Armenian FM voiced at joint press conference with Russian counterpart
- 22.11.2017Erdogan: Only force that can resolve Karabahk conflict is Russia, Putin
- 22.11.2017Landmine explosion kills 3 Armenian soldiers in occupied Azerbaijani lands
- 21.11.2017Azerbaijan summons French envoy over France visit of Karabakh illegal regime’s “head”
- 21.11.2017EU asked not to show different attitudes towards Karabakh and Catalan problems
- 21.11.2017Russian FM: Experience shows Karabakh talks unlikely to end soon
- 21.11.2017Lavrov: Russia will continue efforts to create conditions for Karabakh conflict settlement
- 21.11.2017Armenia continues violating ceasefire with Azerbaijan
- 21.11.2017OSCE Secretary General: "We closely monitor the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict"
- 20.11.2017Turkish ambassador talks about Erdogan's meeting with Putin
- 20.11.2017UNSC resolutions demanding liberation of Azerbaijani lands under discussion – Russian FM
- 20.11.2017FM Mammadyarov: Efforts towards Karabakh conflict settlement should be tripled
- 20.11.2017Azerbaijani FM: UNSC resolutions to remain in force until implementation
- 20.11.2017Russia will work on peaceful solution acceptable to Karabakh conflict parties – Lavrov
- 20.11.2017Azerbaijani FM: Status quo in Karabakh conflict is 'unacceptable and unstable'
- 20.11.2017Novruz Mammadov: Despite provocations of Armenia and its patrons, Azerbaijan doesn’t step back from ‘peace course’
- 20.11.2017Lavrov: Deadlock in US-Russia ties doesn’t affect cooperation on Karabakh settlement
- 20.11.2017Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan will avenge child victims of Armenian armed provocations
- 20.11.201726 years pass since Armenia shot down military helicopter with Azerbaijani political elite on board
- 19.11.2017Armenia violates ceasefire 135 times
- 18.11.2017EU Special Representative for South Caucasus to visit Baku
- 18.11.2017Armenia 123 times breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan in 24 hours
- 17.11.2017Erdogan: "We discussed Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Putin"
- 16.11.2017Armenia continues military exercises in occupied Azerbaijani lands
- 16.11.2017Azerbaijani FM: Following Vienna talks, we’ll offer the presidents to meet - INTERVIEW
- 16.11.2017Ambassador Cekuta reacts to reports on alleged U.S. decision to withdraw from OSCE MG chairmanship
- 16.11.2017Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs agree to meet in Vienna next month
- 23.02.2017Photo exhibition commemorating Khojaly Genocide opens in Kazakhstan
- 23.02.2017Anti-pedestrian mine found in Jojuq Marjanli
- 24.02.2017Azerbaijan: European Parliament membership gives no right to violate laws
- 22.02.2017Scottish Parliament passes resolution on Khojaly tragedy
- 22.02.2017Yashar Aliyev: Armenia must realize that military occupation of another state’s territory didn’t represent solution
- 22.02.2017Lavrov: MG co-chairs are not inactive