The Occupation in Figures
Nagorno-Karabakh: 1988-1992, territory 4400 km2; Shusha: may 08, 1992, territory 289 km2; Lachin: may 18, 1992, territory 1840 km2; Kalbajar: april 2, 1993, territory 3054 km2; Aghdam: july 23, 1993, territory 1150 km2; Fizuli: august 23, 1993, territory 1390 km2; Jabrayil: august 23, 1993, territory 1050 km2; Gubadli: august 31, 1993, territory 802 km2; Zangilan: october 29, 1993, territory 707 km2.

Azerbaijan: Khojaly genocide - int’l criminal offence

Azerbaijan: Khojaly genocide - int’l criminal offence



Under the international criminal law, the act perpetrated in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly is viewed as international criminal offence and the Khojaly genocide should find its legal appraisal, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released due to the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.

“Feb. 26, 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide,” the statement said. “From October 1991, the town was entirely surrounded by the Armed Forces of Armenia. On the night of Feb. 25-26, 1992, following massive artillery bombardment of Khojaly, the assault on the town began from various directions. In the result, the Armed Forces of Armenia, with the help of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), implemented the seizure of Khojaly.”

“Invaders destroyed Khojaly and with particular brutality implemented carnage over its peaceful population,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said. “As a result, 613 civilians were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. Another 1,000 people were wounded and 1,275 people were taken hostage. To this day, 150 people from Khojaly remain missing. The intentional slaughter of the civilians in Khojaly was directed at their mass extermination only because they were Azerbaijanis.”

The mass killing, scalping, beheading, bayoneting of pregnant women and mutilation of bodies by the Armed Forces of Armenia in Khojaly were well documented by the law enforcement agencies of Azerbaijan, numerous independent sources, including Armenian ones, local and international media and eyewitnesses of this tragedy, according to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry.

The statement noted that Armenia’s then-Defense Minister and current President Serzh Sargsyan, in his cynical admission of culpability, was quoted by the UK journalist Thomas de Waal, as saying, “before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that ... the Armenians were people who could not raise their hands against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype].”

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 of notorious ethnic cleansing and practice of atrocities, the statement said.

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Armenia in the course of the ongoing aggression against Azerbaijan constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, said the statement.

The crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan also constitute a serious violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry added.

In its judgment of April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights arrived at an important conclusion with respect to the crime committed in Khojaly, qualifying the behavior of those carrying out the incursion as “acts of particular gravity which may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” the Azerbaijani ministry’s statement said.

The national legislative bodies of more than 15 states, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation adopted a number of resolutions and declarations on condemning in strongest terms the massacre of civilian population in Khojaly and recognizing the tragedy of Khojaly as an act of genocide and crime against humanity, according to the statement.

Azerbaijan highly values the solidarity of the international community on the establishment of truth and justice in respect to acts of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Khojaly by Armenia, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry noted.

“Azerbaijan is confident that the consistent measures being taken at the national level, as well as the existing international legal framework, will serve to end impunity and to bring to justice those responsible for the grave offences committed in the course of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan,” the statement said.

“While remembering the 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide, Azerbaijan calls upon the international community to condemn and recognize the crimes against humanity and act of genocide committed by Armenia in Khojaly against the civilian Azerbaijani population, including children, women and elderly,” the statement noted.