On February 26, 2022, it will be 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide committed by the Armenian armed forces against the Azerbaijanis.

One of the gravest crimes committed against the civilian population during the lasted decades of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and the most tragic page of that war was the occupation of Khojaly city. Before the conflict, 7,000 people were living in this town located in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Since October 1991, the town was entirely surrounded by the Armenian armed forces.

Thus, on the above-mentioned date an unprecedented massacre was committed against the Azerbaijani population in the town of Khojaly. This bloody tragedy, which was recognised as the Khojaly genocide, involved the extermination or capture of the thousands of Azerbaijanis; the town was razed to the ground. Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenian armed forces with the help of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former USSR, occupied Khojaly. Invaders destroyed Khojaly and with particular brutality implemented carnage over its peaceful population.

As a result of the Khojaly genocide 5379 inhabitants of the city were forcefully expelled, 1275 were captured and taken hostage (the fate of 150 of them, including 68 women and 26 children, remains unknown to date) and were tortured, 487 were injured, 8 families were completely destroyed, 130 children lost one and 25 children lost both parents, 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 elderly brutally murdered.

The targeted massacre of civilians in Khojaly was a crime stemming from a policy of ethnic hatred and racial discrimination against Azerbaijanis at the state level in Armenia, and was aimed at massacring people simply because of their ethnicity.

Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev unveiled the essence of Khojaly genocide and in February, 1994, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave legal and political assessment of this crime, issuing a resolution. The document describes causes of the tragedy and its perpetrators.

All the existing facts of the tragic events in Khojaly prove conclusively that the crimes committed in this city of Azerbaijan were not an ordinary and accidental act, but an integral part of Armenia's policy of systematically ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile, the Republic of Azerbaijan has taken decisive steps in many international organizations and parliaments for international political and legal assessment of the war crimes committed in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan – Khojaly by Armenia. Thus significant work has been done within the campaign “Justice for Khojaly” led by Ms. Leyla Aliyeva, Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation to introduce the Khojaly genocide to the international community officially. Many states, including Islamic Republic of Pakistan have recognized the Khojaly massacre as the act of genocide. Thus, the Khojaly genocide ranked with the great tragedies of XX century like Khatyn, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Songmi. This tragedy happened at the end of the century was not against only the Azerbaijani people, but it is one of the gravest crimes against humanity. The norms and principles of international law repeatedly condemned such war crimes like the Khojaly genocide and stated its unacceptability.

In September, 2020, the Republic of Azerbaijan liberated its lands from occupation and restored its territorial integrity. Similarly to Khojaly genocide, during 44 day war Armenia targeted civilians again, killing more than 100 Azerbaijani people, including 11 children.

Unfortunately, the perpetrators of both the Khojaly genocide and the latest war crimes are still at large.

Azerbaijani and Pakistani people always respectfully remember the innocent victims of the war crimes committed by Armenia. We pray for all the martyrs of Khojaly genocide. Long live Azerbaijan and Pakistan brotherhood!