Khojali genocide anniversary to be marked worldwide: Azerbaijani State Diaspora Committee

Khojali genocide anniversary to be marked worldwide: Azerbaijani State Diaspora Committee

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 19 / Trend , J. Babayeva/ The Azerbaijani State Diaspora Committee has approved action plan of the Azerbaijani diaspora organizations to mark Khojali genocide 17th anniversary, the committee said.

"Protest actions, conferences and exhibitions are expected to be held to commemorate the Khojali genocide anniversary," the committee said.

Representatives of Azerbaijani permanent representation at the Council of Europe, Azerbaijani and Turkish organizations, Azerbaijan students in Strasbourg and representatives of the local and foreign organizations will hold an event at the Association of the European Parliaments on Feb. 26 to commemorate one of the tragedies of the 20th century. 

The participants of the event will be presented books about Armenian violence and Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict published by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. They will also learn about Armenian genocide and acts of terrorism against Azerbaijanis. A film about the tragedy will be displayed.

The Azerbaijani House has designed a program together with the Azerbaijan Cultural Relations and Azerbaijan Cultural Societies, Association of Azerbaijani Students, France-Azerbaijan Culture Association in Milouz in an effort to inform French people about Khojali genocide

The Azerbaijan House will hold a demonstration on the central square in Strasbourg on Feb. 28. Members of Azerbaijani and Turkish diasporas will attend the demonstration. The Strasbourg Municipal Council has authorized the demonstration. Booklets about the Khojali genocide in English and French will be distributed among the local residents during the demonstration. Programs on Khojali genocide will be broadcast in the local radio on Feb. 29.

A series of events will held in Germany to mark genocide's 17th anniversary. Azerbaijani State Diaspora Committee first deputy chairman Valeh Hajiyev and Germany-Azerbaijan Forum president Otto Hauzer will talk about the Khojali genocide on the FOX television channel on Feb. 26.

Azerbaijani House in Germany and Germany-Azerbaijan Solidarity Society will hold a demonstration on one of the Berlin central squares to draw attention of the German public to the Khojali genocide.

Another protest action will be held in Hague in Netherlands. Ana Vatan Europe-Azerbaijan Women Society will rally in front of the Peace Palace on Feb. 22. The rally will proceed with a march with torches. They will also visit a monument to the Khojali genocide victims in Hague. 

Netherlands-Azerbaijan Turkish Cultural Society will hold an event in front the Khojali genocide monument in Hague on March 1. Azerbaijani and Turkish ambassadors to Netherlands and activists of Azerbaijani and Turkish diaspora organizations will attend the event. A tent will be put up on one of the central squares in Brussels at the initiative of Belgium-Azerbaijan House to mark genocide's 17th anniversary. Photos on the genocide will be exhibited at the tent. A film about the Khojali tragedy will be displayed in a local television channel. 

Members of the Köln-based United Azerbaijan Society will come to Brussels to hold an event in front of the European Parliament together with the Azerbaijani and Turkish diasporas. Azerbaijan-Turkey Women Union will hold a demonstration on Square de Meeuse in Brussels and will march to Place Schuman where the European parliament is located.

Azerbaijani diaspora organizations in Sweden will hold a protest action against the Khojali massacre on Segelstorg square on Feb. 22. Babak society in Lipkoping city will hold a manifestation on Tradgardstorget square on Feb. 21.

Various events will be held in the United States to commemorate genocide victims. America-Azerbaijan Council and America-Azerbaijan Society will hold a Khojali Week in the U.S. The events are expected to be organized in New York, Washington, San-Francisco, California and Chicago. A conference on the genocide will be held as a part of the Khojali Justice Campaign.

A film on the Khojali genocide shot by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will be displayed and English language book on Khojali genocide by Azerbaijani MP Havva Mammadova will be presented during the conference. A protest action will be held in front of the NATO headquarters in New York. The protesters will issue an official address to the UN member states and Secretary General.  

Federation of Turkey-Azerbaijan Societies plans to hold commemoration ceremony and photo exhibition on the Khojali genocide's 17th anniversary on Feb. 26. Azerbaijani Cultural and Solidarity Society in Manisa will hold a commemoration ceremony. Azerbaijani students in Izmir will hold a joint conference together with the Azerbaijani Cultural and Solidarity Society. Kojaeli Azerbaijani House will organize one-week conference and exhibition in Izmit.

'Azeri' New Zealand-Azerbaijan Friendship society in Oakland will publish articles in the local newspaper on occasion of the Khojali genocide anniversary. The organization will hold a campaign on genocide in several higher schools.

All Russia Congress of Azerbaijanis in Russia plans to organize an event and display a film on the Khojali genocide in Baku cinema in Moscow on Feb. 26. The All Russia Congress of Azerbaijanis representative offices in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Tula, Ufa, Novosibirsk, Ulan-Ude and Khabarovsk will also commemorate the event.

Works of the Azerbaijani painter Rasim Saydiyev about the Khojali genocide will be exhibited by the Ukraine-Azerbaijan Congress in Kiev on Feb. 25. The exhibition will be organized in Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk cities as well. Azerbaijanis in Kiev and in other cities will hold a protest action in front of the Armenian embassy on Feb. 26. The Azerbaijanis also plan to hold a protest action in front of the OSCE office in Ukraine and pass a resolution on the Khojali genocide.

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.

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