The European Azerbaijan Society holds unique action in London – PHOTO

The European Azerbaijan Society holds unique action in London – <font color=red>PHOTO</font>
# 26 February 2010 13:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) organized an action in London in commemoration of 18th anniversary of Khojaly genocide. The anniversary of these tragic events was marked in London in a solemn ceremony on the River Thames. Guests from the political, diplomatic, NGO and Diaspora communities boarded a boat at the Savoy Pier, and viewed a photographic exhibition depicting the brutal events of that fateful day. Down-river, 613 red carnations – one for each victim – were strewn in the Thames. Thereafter 613 balloons were released, each bearing the name of victim.

In the wake of these reverent acts, a digivan traveled around Central London, displaying stark, emotive images of the massacre and website details for the international Justice for Khojaly campaign.

Chairman of the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) Tale Heydarov said TEAS was honored to organize the event in conjunction with the “Justice for Khojaly” movement.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United Kingdom Fakhraddin Gurbanov commented that this had been “a black day in the history of his people and his nation”. He said that events were being held across the world to commemorate the events at Khojaly, but those in London were unique and moving.

Lord Kilcloneey, a Member of the TEAS Advisory Board, spoke about his long engagement with Azerbaijan as an MEP, Member of the Council of Europe, and Member of the House of Lords.

He explained that he had visited refugee and IDP camps in Azerbaijan, and been very moved by the plight of the people who had been forced to flee their homes. He also remarked that such events would ensure that this frozen conflict and forgotten massacre was brought to the attention of the world.

Close to a million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons still live in temporary accommodation throughout Azerbaijan. They have no wish to settle permanently – their sole desire is to return to their homes in the occupied regions.

Although the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is often described as a ‘frozen conflict’, regular clashes still occur along the ‘line of contact’. Indeed, last week three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in front line skirmishes.

Despite many years of talks, Armenia still refuses to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, which call for the complete withdrawal of Armenian military forces from Azerbaijani sovereign territory.

Two weeks ago, TEAS submitted a petition to the Prime Minister’s website, calling for condemnation of the massacre. To date, this has attracted many signatures. But that is less than half the death toll of Khojaly, and the petition requires mass support to raise its status on the political agendas of all UK political parties. The petition is open for one year, and we urge all UK citizens to play their part in raising international awareness of this atrocity, increasing pressure on Armenia to uphold international law ands return Azerbaijani sovereign territory.