Azerbaijani Permanent Representative to UN submits one more letter to Secretary-General of organization concerning Khojaly Massacre

Azerbaijani Permanent Representative to UN submits one more letter to Secretary-General of organization concerning Khojaly Massacre
# 25 February 2012 10:26 (UTC +04:00)
Washington. Isabel Levine – APA. Agshin Mehdiyev, Azerbaijani Permanent Representative to the UN addressed the Secretary-General submitting one more letter to the Secretary-General of organization concerning the Khojali Massacre, APA’s correspondent was informed by UN News Center.

“The most serious crimes of concern to the international community, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, have been committed in the course of the ongoing aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan”, said the Ambassador reminding that in the coming days, Azerbaijan commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the atrocious crimes committed against the civilians and defenders of the town of Khojaly, situated in the Daghlyq Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.

“On the night of 25 to 26 February 1992, the armed forces of Armenia, with the support of irregular armed bands and terrorist groups, as well as with the direct participation of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the personnel of which was composed mainly of ethnic Armenians, implemented the seizure of Khojaly. The attack and capture of the town involved the extermination of hundreds of Azerbaijanis, including women, children and the elderly, and thousands of civilians were wounded and taken hostage, many of whom remain missing, while the town was razed to the ground”.

According to the Ambassador, the level of brutality in Khojaly is shocking, and atrocities included scalping, beheading, bayoneting of pregnant women and the mutilation of bodies.
“The facts confirm that the intentional slaughter of the civilians in Khojaly town was directed at their mass extermination only because they were Azerbaijanis. By committing this appalling crime, its perpetrators also had a purpose, to strike terror into the hearts of people and create fear before the horrifying massacre. Indeed, Khojaly was chosen as a stage for further aggression against and occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani territories”.

Ambassador Mehdiyev noted that apart from the considerable information in the possession of the law enforcement agencies of Azerbaijan, the responsibility of Armenia, as well as its political and military leadership and subordinate local armed groups for the crimes committed in Khojaly has been recognized and documented by numerous independent sources and eyewitnesses to the tragedy, and has even been admitted by Armenia’s high-ranking officials and the country’s public sources.

“This responsibility emanates from both general international law and, more particularly, from the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which both Armenia and Azerbaijan are parties”.

He also mentioned that the relevant Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993 in response to the illegal use of force against Azerbaijan and occupation of its territories, including resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993), made specific reference to violations of international humanitarian law, including the displacement of a large number of civilians in Azerbaijan, attacks on civilians and bombardments of inhabited areas.

“It is beyond dispute that such acts amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and racial discrimination. The overall assessment of the causes and consequences of the war unleashed by Armenia against Azerbaijan makes it absolutely clear that the intentional slaughter of the civilians and defenders of Khojaly was not an isolated or sporadic act, but was part of Armenia’s widespread and systematic policy and practice of atrocities, at the core of which are odious ideas of racial superiority, ethnic differentiation and hatred. It should be also noted that the Khojaly massacre and other crimes committed against Azerbaijanis during the conflict have finally exploded the myth depicting Armenia as an eternal victim”.

According to the Ambassador Mehdiyev, the Government of Azerbaijan is confident that consistent measures being taken at the national level, as well as the existing legal framework of prosecution of and punishment for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, will serve to end impunity for the crimes in Khojaly and other grave offenses committed in the course of the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan.

“It is important to ensure that the pursuit of offenders is undertaken through either the domestic legal systems of involved and third-party States or relevant international criminal institutions, as appropriate, and that State responsibility is enforced through existing inter-State mechanisms”, he noted.

Nagorno Garabagh