Iskandar Gadirzade 0

Recognize the Khojaly Massacre

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Dear Prime Minister: As a member of the Canadian Azerbaijani community, I am writing to remind you of the crime that was committed against innocent Azerbaijani civilians, twenty years ago, on February 26, 1992. On that day, the Armenian armed forces committed a massacre in Khojaly, a small town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, resulted in almost 2,000 of innocent civilians, mostly women, children, and elderly, being killed, wounded, or taken hostage. Brutal annihilation of hundreds of blameless inhabitants of Khojaly was one of the most heinous crimes during the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The crime against peaceful residents of Khojaly was condemned worldwide and broadly covered by the international media. The Human Rights Watch in its relevant report described the event in Khojaly as “the largest massacre to date in the conflict.” The organization also “place direct responsibility for the civilian deaths with Karabakh Armenian forces.” The current President of Armenia Serge Sarksian in an interview stated: “Before Khojali, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype]. And that's what happened.” This tragedy remains the most vivid reminder of the consequences of armed aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan. February 26, 2012, is a Memorial Day for the people of Azerbaijan. In the wake of the 20th anniversary of Khojaly massacre, I join with my family, friends and work colleagues in calling upon the Government of Canada to properly recognize and commemorate this tragedy and to pressure the Armenian government to accept its responsibility for this massacre and withdraw its troops from the occupied regions of Azerbaijan. I look forward to your just stance on this matter. Respectfully,

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