Azerbaijani Opposition Party Cancels Decision to Hold Demonstration

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 February / Trend corr G. Jabiyev / The Azerbaijani opposition party Musavat cancelled yesterday's decision to hold a demonstration in the Azadlig (Freedom) Square on the anniversary day of the Khojali tragedy.

"To hold a demonstration jointly with the governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) was the purpose of the Musavat," the head of the Musavat's central executive administration Arif Hajili said to Trend on 15 February.

During the latest meeting of the Musavat administration at the beginning of February it was decided to hold the arrangements dedicated to the Khojali anniversary with the participation of all political parties, including NAP.

According to the Deputy Executive Secretary of the NAP Mubariz Gurbanli, the governing party rejected the proposal. In order to publicize the Khojali tragedy to the world community, it would be expedient to hold demonstrations in front of the US Senate, the French Senate, the Russian Parliament and in other countries.

On the night of 25 to 26 February 1992 the Azerbaijani settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh, Khojali, was occupied by Armenian separatists, with active participation of military personnel and army tanks of the 366th regiment of the Russian army. In a matter of several hours, more than 600 unarmed Azerbaijani citizens, including 106 women and 83 children, were brutally killed. The annihilation of the peaceful people continued for several days during which time the Armenians executed and killed the prisoners, committed violence against women and children, cut off the heads of Azerbaijani military prisoners and hung them up. During this crime, 487 people, including 76 juveniles were physically disabled and 1,275 people were taken prisoner. Despite most of prisoners having been released, the fate of 150 people is still unknown.

According to Hajili, the purpose of the demonstration involving all political parties is to inform the world of the truth about the Khojali tragedy. Musavat did not intend to hold a separate meeting.

The opposition Musavat party was founded in 1992. The head of the party, Isa Gambar, was Azerbaijani Parliament's Speaker in 1992-93 and run for presidency in 2003. The party is represented by an MP group in the Parliament.

The NAP was founded in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan (NAR) in 1992 by Heydar Aliyev, who then was the chair of the Nakhchivan Parliament. Present chair of the party is the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who has been taking the position for 14 years.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected] trend.az

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