Leyla Aliyeva: “We will never forget people massacred in Khojaly”

“We will never forget people massacred in Khojaly,” said Vice-President and head of the Russian Office of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva in an event dedicated to the 21st anniversary of the Khojaly genocide in Moscow.

The lobby of the hotel exhibited drawings of children of orphanages No.1 of Nizami District, No.2 of Surakhani District and No.3 of Khatai district of Baku, who participated in Art Exhibition “Children and War” organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The works of the young artists, invited to Moscow at the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, reflected protest war, evil and injustice. The children expressed their gratitude to Leyla Aliyeva for the invitation to Moscow, and gave her paintings depicting the coat of arms and the flag of Azerbaijan.

Gathered in the hall, the walls of which had photographs of the Khojaly tragedy, the participants commemorated the victims with a moment of silence. Then a film was shown on the actions held in Russia as part of campaign Justice for Khojaly.
Speaking at the event, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva said: “It is the 21st year that we gather to honour the victims of the Khojaly genocide, one of the most bloody and terrible pages of the Karabakh conflict. Twenty one years ago, on the night of February 25 to 26, armed Armenian militants invaded the town of Khojaly, killing 613 civilians, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old men. These 613 brutally killed innocent people will never be forgotten and will live forever in our hearts. The world community must make a legal and moral assessment of the terrible events that happened in February night in 1992”.

“The world must know about the Khojaly so that such killings and crimes never happen again. That is why on 8 May 2008 we initiated international campaign Justice for Khojaly. The purpose of the campaign is to inform the world about the tragedy. The campaign has already collected more than 700,000 signatures”, Aliyeva said. She stressed that for several years the Heydar Aliyev Foundation holds events dedicated to the tragedy in more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. As part of activities, protests and pickets were held in front of the parliament and government of various countries, seminars and conferences were organized, books were published and movies were demonstrated. Thanks to campaign Justice for Khojaly, the Khojaly tragedy has been recognized by several international organizations.

Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva said: “For now the parliaments of Pakistan, Mexico, Czech Republic, Colombia and Bosnia and Herzegovina recognized the Khojaly tragedy as an act of genocide and crime against Azerbaijan. In addition, this genocide was recognized by seven U.S. states. We will continue to work in this direction. We still have to work hard and I believe that soon the genocide will be recognized by many countries of the world, and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will find a fair solution. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be restored and all the refugees and displaced persons will return to their native land, to their homes”.

Stressing that the event is held in the Russian capital, having an important impact on the settlement of the conflict, Aliyeva said: “I would like that, as citizens of all countries of the world, Russian citizens also know the truth about this terrible tragedy. Of course, the work carried out by us today cannot bring back to life the dead people, and heal the wounds of the survivors of Khojaly. But we will never forget those women, children and the elderly”.

In his speech, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said that after the Khojaly tragedy Azerbaijan sought to deliver this problem to the world. Only in the last few years due to the purposeful policy of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and initiator of campaign Justice for Khojaly Leyla Aliyeva, world started turning to face Azerbaijan. The ambassador said: “This shows that people in the world have already begun to distinguish truth from falsehood. We and future generations will not forget Khojaly so that such tragedies do not occur anywhere else in the world”.