February 27, 2009

“Justice for Khojaly” international campaign started in Russia

On 27 February, Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s Office in Russian Federation and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Youth Forum held action at Baky Cinema and Concert Complex in Moscow dedicated to the 17th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy and presentation of the website of the “Justice for Khojaly” information campaign. The event began with a minute of silence in memory of the Khojaly victims. A documentary titled “Khojaly. Tragedy of a town”, shot by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, was demonstrated then.


Opening the event Head of Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s Office in Russian Federation, Chief Coordinator on Dialogue and Cooperation of OIC Youth Forum Mrs. Leila Aliyeva said “17 years ago Khojaly tragedy happened, innocent people, including women, children and elderly were massacred. It was a result of aggressive policy, nationalism and ethnic cleanse pursued by Armenian occupants at the territory of sovereign Azerbaijan. All wars are horrible bringing disaster and grief to hundreds and thousands people. It is particularly horrible and tragic when innocent people are killed. Just this happened in Khojaly City: Armenian armed forces deliberately killed the civilians - women, old people and children, who did not pose any military threat. These people were cunningly trapped and cruelly shot. These innocent people for massacred only for ethnic relationship. It was the absolute genocide against the people of Azerbaijan, a massacre consciously committed against our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. It was deliberate mass frightening action at the same time. But the history showed the will of Azeri nation was not broken then and will never be broken. Despite Khojaly tragedy went down in the history of Azerbaijan as one of the most terrible and black pages, it is the example of strength and strong will of our nation.”   


The Head of Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s Office in Russia underlined Azerbaijani people will never condone with occupation of their native lands and will restore the country`s territorial integrity. “Today we are commemorating all those who were killed during the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Daghlig Garabagh, victims of the Khojaly tragedy and once again urge the international community to give legal and moral assessment to this tragedy. Murder of civilians in XXI century because of partial and nationalist wills of someone is inaccessible and we aim to provide truth on this conflict to the world public” Mrs. Aliyeva said.


L.Aliyeva noted as Chief Coordinator of OIC Youth Forum for Intercultural Dialog she showed last May 8 initiative of holding “Justice for Khojaly” campaign. The goal of the action is to correctly informing the world community of this tragedy and the conflict. Detailed information will be provided here today on that action, website of the “Justice for Khojaly” presented. The campaign and the site are presented now in a number of countries. None of Azerbaijanis who fell for native lands will be forgotten. Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity will be restored and justice will triumph.


Ending her speech Leila Aliyeva expressed gratitude for participants for sharing sorrow of Azeri people. Then she invited witnesses of the tragedy Zaur Aliyev and Anar Yusubov to the stage. They were children when the tragedy happened. Witnesses of the horrible tragedy shared memories on the genocide committed by Armenians against civilians of this city of Daghlig Garabagh. They expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani leadership, Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its Russia Office for works towards restoration of justice, delivering true information to the world public on Khojaly genocide.


OIC Youth Forum Secretary General Elshad Isgandarov valued presentation of “Justice for Khojaly” action as an eminent event for Moscow. According to him, the purpose of the action realized in over 20 countries worldwide is to catch international attention to tragic Khojaly incidents, achieve its fair assessment legally and morally. Mr. Isgandarov stated the initiative by Leila Aliyeva that was supported by all OIC member countries meets interests of both them and Azeri people that peacefully lived for centuries with its neighbors. He said the site is available on Russian too and expressed hope the Russians will seriously approach the campaign.


Yuri Pompeyev, a writer, author of “Bloody Pool of Garabagh” book, who first protested against the genocide of Azerbaijanis of Khojaly, noted the main word permanently sounded is “justice’. He said: “I think it is not easy to look for justice in every tragedy, specially in this large-scale tragedy Azerbaijanis have undergone, but generation raised during these 17 years is able to do it. Witnesses of these stories display the power of Azeri nation.” He stressed for the first time during 17 years patriot writer Musa Merjanly has posted on ISR-Naslediye magazine surnames of 38 persons that directly participated in the genocide committed in Khojaly over the night from February 25 to 26, 1992. “I think, restoration of justice is the biggest punishment for those guilty of this massacre” Pompeyev noted.

The website of the “Justice for Khojaly” campaign, film “Prayer” was shown. A photo exhibition on the Khojaly tragedy was organized in the foyer. Finally, books, magazines and brochures were distributed among visitors and participants.


Finally, participants signed the campaign’s declaration.