Azerbaijan expects world to recognize Khojali genocide: ombudsman
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 18 / Trend , J.Babayeva/
Azerbaijan expects the world community to recognize the Khojali tragedy as genocide against humanity and to punish accused, Azerbaijani Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova told Trend on Feb. 18.
"Committers of the tragedy are known. They committed genocide not against of a small people group, but against the humanity," Suleymanova said.
On the night of February 25, 1992, Armenian separatists seized the Khojali settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russian tanks played an active role in capturing the area.
Within hours, over 600 unarmed Azerbaijani citizens were killed. Among them were 106 women and 83 children. The massacre continued for days, while the Armenian separatists killed their hostages and cut the heads off of Azerbaijani military personnel. A total of 487 people were left disabled and 1,275 people were taken prisoner. The fate of 150 people remains unknown.
The Azerbaijani government is considering pressing a lawsuit against Armenia at the International Criminal Court, Presidential Administration's Public and Political Department head Ali Hasanov told Trend earlier.
A member of the Azerbaijani parliament urged Azerbaijanis abroad actively to participate in actions to be held on the Khojali genocide in these countries.
"Azerbaijanis living in other countries should take an active part in events dedicated to Khojali genocide and Nagorno-Karabakh. Our fellow citizens have no right to stay at home on the day of the Khojali genocide. Along with participation in these activities, they should involve others," member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Ganira Pashayeva told Trend .
The ombudsman administration jointly with the Ministry of Education is gathering children's signatures at the country's schools, Suleymanova said.
"Children with their votes will appeal the world community to assist in peace process in the region," Suleymanova said. "The world will not take measures until it s convinced of truth of the genocide fact."
The ombudsman administration will spread films, materials and books on Khojali. It is planned to hold an international conference on the 20th anniversary of the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan in late May. International experts and officials of international organizations will attend the conference, Suleymanova said.
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