February 24, 2023

An event dedicated to the Khojaly genocide takes place in Rome with the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation

A commemoration event was held at the Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Italy with joint organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Embassy in connection with the 31st anniversary of the Khojaly genocide. Members of the Italian Parliament, state officials, public and political figures, representatives of the diplomatic corps, local media representatives and members of the Azerbaijani community attended the event.


Speaking at the event, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Italy Rashad Aslanov brought to attention that the Khojaly genocide was one of the gravest crimes committed against civilians during the military aggression by Armenia against our country 31 years earlier. Underscoring the killing of 613 civilians with special cruelty in the course of one night just for the reason of their ethnic relationship, the Ambassador said that this was a manifestation of the ethnic cleansing policy pursued by Armenia. He noted that the genocidal crime committed in Khojaly was carried out by Armenia systematically, violating the norms and principles of the international humanitarian law in the most brutal manner.


R. Aslanov mentioned that the recall of wars, genocides and other crimes against humankind was essential also in terms of securing the punishment of the perpetrators, and preventing their occurrence. Saying that our country had restored its territorial integrity, obtaining justice by its own force under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev in 2020, the Ambassador brought to attention that our state has been persistently working on making sure that the Khojaly genocide receives a legal and political assessment, and that the perpetrators are held accountable.


The Ambassador underscored that the international campaign “Justice for Khojaly!”, which is implemented under the leadership of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Vice-president of the Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, towards enlightening the world community has made great contribution to ensuring that the crimes committed in Khojaly receive a legal and political assessment.


Speaking at the event, representative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Fidan Yusibova informed that the Khojaly genocide, which occurred at the end of the last century before the eyes of the world, was a crime committed not only against our fellow citizens, but also against the humankind at large. Due to its scale and degree of cruelty, the Khojaly genocide cannot be forgotten, and this date has been engraved in the bloody memory of our people. This tragedy is a bloody page of the aggressive Armenian nationalists’ genocide and ethnic cleansing policy against our nation.


Fidan Yusibova noted that delivering the true facts about the crimes committed by Armenian nationalists against our people, including the Khojaly genocide, to the world society has always been among the priority directions of the activity of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. She also underscored that First Vice-president of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva has made great contribution to conveying information about this horrible genocide across the world. The international campaign “Justice for Khojaly!”, being implemented on the initiative of Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, has been of special importance in terms of disseminating information about the Khojaly events around the world, as well as giving an impartial assessment of the killings.


F. Yusibova noted that the international campaign “Justice for Khojaly!” has made great contribution to the process of recognizing the fact of genocide by foreign countries. The objective of the campaign has been to enlighten the international community on the Khojaly genocide, remember the victims of this tragedy and ensure that these events are never forgotten, especially by the young generation. Thanks to the purposeful activity in the framework of the campaign, world countries are better informed of the killings committed by the Armenian terrorists. To date, over 10 countries and the Islamic Cooperation Organization have passed decisions and judgments recognizing these crimes committed by Armenians in Khojaly as a genocide.


It was underscored that thanks to the magnificent victory of the Azerbaijani Army under the Victorious Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev in the 44-day Patriotic War, our people commemorates the victims of the Khojaly genocide as a victorious people. As to our martyrs, vengeance has been taken also on the enemies of the Khojaly genocide.


Then, Ilduza Sadykhova, a 13-year-old member of the Azerbaijani community in Italy, told stories from the book “They will never grow up” - authored by living witness of the Khojaly genocide Sariyya Muslim gyzy Jafarova, and dedicated to the victims of the Khojaly genocide - in the Italian language to the attendees of the event.


Performances of Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan, famous pianust Islam Manafov and Honoured Artist, conductor, composer and pianist Turan Manafzade were listened, and works by Azerbaijani and world classics performed at the event. Moreover, the work “To Khojaly”, composed by Azerbaijani pianist, laureate of international contests, conductor and composer Abuzar Manafzade was performed.


A photo exhibition dedicated to the 31st anniversary of the Khojaly genocide was organized in the framework of the event.