A conference was held in Moscow under the aegis of the international information campaign “Justice For Khojaly” on the 19th anniversary of the Khojaly Atrocity committed by Armenians. The conference was jointly organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Russia, the All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress (ARAC), the Azerbaijan Youth Organisation of Russia (AYOR) and the OIC Youth Forum.
The conference was held at the Bolshoi Petrovsky Hall of the Moscow President Hotel in Moscow. The delegates discussed the work that has been achieved by the “Justice For Khojaly” campaign in bringing accurate information about the Khojaly tragedy to the attention of the world community, and bringing the guilty to justice.
Secretary General of the OIC Youth Forum Elshad Isgandarov opened the conference by expressing his gratitude to the participants for supporting Azerbaijan’s fair position on the issue. He underlined the “Justice For Khojaly” campaign’s support for achieving justice for other victims of ethnic cleansing too, and not only for the Khojaly victims.
The conference was addressed by the campaign’s initiator Leila Aliyeva – Chair of AYOR, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and General Coordinator of OIC Youth Forum.
She said the act of genocide committed against civilians in Khojaly - which massacred innocent people including children, women and elderly -, is the most horrible and bloody tragedy in the history of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh conflict. She suggested that attendees of this conference and millions of people who support international campaign 'Justice for Khojaly' could not remain indifferent to the legal, moral and ethical assessment of this tragedy by the international community. Mrs Aliyeva went on say that this is a terrible injustice that the perpetrators and instigators of the crime committed in Khojaly remain unpunished.
Leila Aliyeva said: ‘Our campaign’s goal is to provide a truthful account to the international community of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh conflict and the unbearable conditions of refugees and displaced persons. Our lands are still under occupation, while Armenian murderers have mercilessly killed innocent people to achieve their immoral ends. It’s the duty of every Azerbaijani, amongst whom I include myself, to bring recognition of Khojaly tragedy to the attention of the international community as a crime against humanity and act of genocide. We must never again see a repetition of such crimes’.
Leila Aliyeva explained that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation arranges events on the Khojaly tragedy in 70 countries. The Foundation holds conferences, memorial ceremonies, publishes books, manuals, DVDs, and makes documentary films. As part of the international campaign 'Justice for Khojaly', which was launched in 2008, hundreds of events have been held all over the world. Conferences, workshops, rallies are held almost in all EU member states, the CIS, Asia, South and North America. A number of international forums have acknowledged the Khojaly tragedy due to this campaign. A month ago, MPs from 31 countries recognized the Khojaly tragedy as a crime against humanity on the initiative of the Foundation and OIC Youth Forum. Youth flash mobs are held today among leading universities in 20 countries. A new phase in the campaign started last year. This new phase envisages the distribution of petitions and appeals addressed to the Heads of State and Governments, OSCE Minsk Group, PACE, the UN General Secretariat, world parliaments and international organizations - demanding the recognition of this tragedy as a crime against humanity and act of genocide.
The Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation mentioned that the text of the petition is available on our site and has been signed by over 140.000 people.
Mrs Aliyeva also noted that the Organization presents the new interesting version of its site from today. ‘We are presenting a book by Robert Arakelov. This book presents an authenticated and dispassionate account of the Khojaly tragedy. One of the most important events of our campaign has symbolically been held in Moscow for several years. This is because Russia has the potential to regulate the Armenia-Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh conflict and to play a positive role in this question. Representatives of Russian society were among those who first visited Khojaly and fairly evaluated the situation. For this reason, we are glad to see representatives of Russian society here today, and we sincerely thank them for sharing our sorrow and supporting us. This horrible crime cannot be justified in any way. The nation of Azerbaijan has withstood this tragedy with a heavy heart - we cannot allow such tragedy to be committed once again’, Mrs Aliyeva added.
She expressed hope the Armenia-Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh conflict will soon be resolved peacefully, that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be restored, and refugees and displaced persons will be able to return to their native lands.
The Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia, Polad Bulbuloglu, spoke about the significance of the international campaign concerning the Khojaly tragedy, and the activities of the country's leadership towards the fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh conflict.
ARAC President Mammad Aliyev, Azerbaijani MP, writer-publicist Elmira Akhundova, Head of European Studies Department at Ural Federal University, professor Alexander Nesterov, Moscow Coordinator of campaign ‘Justice for Khojaly’ Kristina Mojayeva and Russian political scientist Alexei Vlasov mentioned different aspects of our country’s information policy for assuring awareness in the world on the tragedy of our people. They called for an equitable result, including punishing the perpetrators of this bloody tragedy within the framework of international law and universal norms.
The participants signed the petition on www.justiceforkhojaly.org.
More than 600 visitors, Turkish and Paraguayan ambassadors in Russia, delegates of diplomatic missions in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry, intellectuals, scientific and creative circles of the capital, members of the Azerbaijani diaspora, mass media, students of high schools in Moscow and regions were present in the event.
A book titled 'Confessions of an Armenian intellectual' by Robert Arakelov was presented during the event.
The ‘Justice for Khojaly’ campaign was continued by youth groups in 27 regions around Russia at the initiative of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and AYOR.