Members of U.S. Congress appeal to speaker Nancy Pelosi on anniversary of Khojaly massacre

Members of U.S. Congress appeal to speaker Nancy Pelosi on anniversary of Khojaly massacre
# 27 February 2008 09:01 (UTC +04:00)
Solomon Ortiz in his appeal to speaker Pelosi commemorates the 16th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy, when on February 25-26, 1992, the town of Khojaly in the Nagorno Karabagh region of Azerbaijan was brutally attacked by Armenian forces.
“The town of Khojaly, which was home to 7,000 people, was completely destroyed; a total of 613 people were killed, of which 106 were women and 83 were children, and 56 of whom are purported to have been killed with extreme cruelty and torture. Additionally, 1275 were taken hostage, 150 went missing; 487 people became disabled (76 of whom are teenagers); 8 families were wiped out; 25 children lost both of their parents, and 130 children lost one of their parents,” he says.
Solomon Ortiz says the Khojaly massacre was not an isolated incident.
“In fact, the level of brutality and the atrocities committed at Khojaly set a pattern of destruction that Armenian troops would adhere to for the remainder of the Nagorno-Karabakh War,” he says.
Solomon Ortiz notes that no one has been prosecuted for the crimes committed in Khojaly and, unfortunately, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still remains.
Mr. Ortiz also cited Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov’s article published in the Wall Street Journal.
On January 21, 2008, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov noted in the Wall Street Journal that it has been almost 14 years since the Armenia-Azerbaijan war ended in a Russian-mediated ceasefire, but Armenian troops remain on Azerbaijan’s territory. Minister Mammadyarov opined: “The so-called Minsk process, an OSCE-led effort to find a peaceful, negotiated settlement to this conflict, has been helpful in providing the framework for dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It also gives an international dimension to this conflict. But we need to urgently conclude this process. Maintaining the status quo is just too costly.’’ Foreign Minister Mammadyarov contends that diplomacy is Azerbaijan’s preferred solution. The resolution of this issue would not only improve bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, it could also improve Armenia’s relationship with Turkey.
Member of the Working Group on Azerbaijan Virginia Foxx in her appeal to speaker Nancy Pelosi writes that while there has been considerable congressional attention to tragic events which took place in Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Darfur, and elsewhere, very little light has shined on what happened in 1992, less than 20 years ago in the Caucasus.
“Sixteen years later, for the people of Azerbaijan and the region, the word “Khojaly’’ stirs up memories of pain and sorrow. In the middle of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Armenian troops supported by a Russian infantry regiment razed Khojaly, brutally murdering 613 people, annihilating families, disabling some 1,000 civilians, capturing 1,275 persons and leaving 150 people unaccounted for. This year, as in previous years, those residents of Khojaly, who survived the massacre, are appealing to hold Armenia responsible for this crime.
Ms. Foxx writes that Human Rights Watch called the tragedy at the time “the largest massacre to date in the conflict.’’ The extent of the cruelty of this massacre against women, children and the elderly was unfathomable. Memorial, a Russian human rights group, reported that “scores of the corpses bore traces of profanation. Doctors on a hospital train in Agdam noted no less than four corpses that had been scalped and one that had been beheaded . . . . and one case of live scalping.
Congresswoman also mentions that such media outlets as The Independent, Time, Reuters, Newsweek and Australia’s The Age published articles about Khojaly massacre.
“I urge Congress to join all Azerbaijanis in commemorating the tragedy. The world should know about and remember Khojaly,” Virginia Foxx says.

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