Khojaly massacre survivor addresses US Congress

Khojaly massacre survivor addresses US Congress
# 28 February 2017 07:41 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijani Center of Midwest America (ACMA) organized a special event in the US Congress to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre.

Organized within the framework of the “Justice For Khojaly” international awareness campaign, the event was attended by congressional staff members, employees of the Azerbaijani Embassy in the US, representatives of the local community, the Azerbaijani and Turkish communities in the US, the Azerbaijani Embassy in the US told APA.

Addressing the keynote remarks at the event, Mehriban Mammadova, ACMA President, gave information about the Khojaly massacre and noted that this tragedy is forever etched on the memory of the Azerbaijani people.

Narmin Ibrahimova, a survivor of the Khojaly massacre and an Azerbaijani student in the US, shared with the participant her bitter memories in relation to the events of 25 years ago. She spoke about the sufferings underwent by hungry and thirsty Khojaly residents in forest at cold winter nights in order to escape the atrocities of the Armenian soldiers. The Azerbaijani survivor said that hundreds of civilians were brutally killed during the massacre, and these terrible events have left deep and unforgettable traces in her memory.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov said in his speech that the commemoration of this tragedy is a reminder of how important it is to restore the peace in the region. He said that the people of Azerbaijan rightfully call for justice for this tragedy, noting that despite all this suffering and injustice Azerbaijan is looking to the future.

Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar (Texas), a member of the working group on Azerbaijan, stressed the strategic importance of US-Azerbaijan relations, noting that he is ready to provide support to strengthening the partnership between the two countries. Congressman Cuellar, who called himself a friend of Azerbaijan, said that he shares the grief of our people on this painful day and will continue to stand by Azerbaijan.

It’s now the second consecutive year that ACMA has organized a commemorative event in the US Congress for the Khojaly massacre. As part of the “Justice For Khojaly” campaign, a number of commemoration ceremonies have been held in Washington, New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, and Houston.

On February 25-26, 1992, Armenia’s armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.

As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. A total of 1,000 civilians became disabled in the onslaught. Eight families were completely annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, while 25 lost both parents. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people (68 women, 26 children) still remains unknown.