Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and General Prosecutor’s Office issued joint statement on anniversary of Khojaly genocide, APA reports.
The statement reads as follows:
“The Republic of Armenia bears responsibility for providing open support to aggressive separatism and terrorism since the end of 1980s, occupying 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territories, committing ethnic cleansing against more than one million Azerbaijanis in both Armenia and the occupied territories and committing numerous military crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.
During the war, occupation of the town of Khojaly was especially tragic. Before the war, 7,000 people lived in this town. In October 1991, the town was completely surrounded by the Armenian armed forces. On February 25-26, 1992, following the mass artillery strikes, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, occupied the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. The occupiers destroyed the town and committed an act of genocide against the population of the town.
General assessment of reasons and results of Armenian war against Azerbaijan and all existing facts of tragic events in Khojaly prove that the crimes committed in this town of Azerbaijan were not ordinary and accidental, on the contrary, they were part of Armenia’s systematic and widespread aggressive policy which mainly contains racial priority, ethnic discrimination and hate. Purposeful killing of civilians in Khojaly was directed to their mass destruction just because they were Azerbaijanis.
On the background of aggression against Azerbaijan, the war, crimes against humanity and Khojaly genocide committed by Armenia are violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, especially Geneva Conventions of 1949, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
It’s known that Armenia’s current and previous leadership, together with other high ranking political and military officials and leaders of separatist regime created in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, have personally participated in occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands and aggression against Azerbaijani civilians and military servicemen, including Khojaly. Insolently acknowledging his guilty, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who was Defense Minister at that time, said in his interview to the British journalist Thomas de Waal: “Before Khojali, the Azerbaijanis thought that ... the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype” (page 172 of the book “Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War” by Thomas de Waal).
It’s undeniable fact that no any official or political status can give immunity to anyone who was named in international crimes, including military crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Republic of Azerbaijan is sure that continuous measures at the national level, as well as within the international law, will serve putting an end to impunity and bringing the people, who bear responsibility for grave crimes on the background of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, to the justice”.