French journalist Jean-Michel Brun publishes article about Khojaly genocide

Politics Materials 26 February 2023 18:57 (UTC +04:00)
French journalist Jean-Michel Brun publishes article about Khojaly genocide

BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 26. CEO of the Lagazetteaz.fr online newspaper, founded by Trend News Agency in France, Jean-Michel Brun published an article dedicated to the 31st anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.

The article says that on the night of February 25-26, 1992, the city of Khojaly became the object of the most terrible massacre of the first Armenian-Azerbaijani Karabakh war. As a result of the Khojaly tragedy, the lives of hundreds of innocent Azerbaijanis were brutally killed.

"On Friday, February 24, in the cultural center of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris, with the participation of many officials, a concert program was organized dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Khojaly tragedy, which is a massacre remembered in history and which was in the media at the time when it was committed, compared to the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane.

31 years have passed since this event. Before the conflict, Khojaly, with a population of 7,000, was considered the second largest city in Karabakh. It had the only airport in the region, which made this city a strategic one. In February 1992, the situation was particularly tense. The city has been under siege by Armenian troops since October 1991.

Since January 1992, telecommunications, electricity and water lines have been cut off. The population suffered from food shortages. The roads connecting Khojaly with the rest of the country were blocked by enemy forces. Although helicopters were the only means of transport that could reach the city, they were regularly subjected to Armenian shelling. Faced with a very difficult situation, the only way out for the people of Khojaly was to cross the mountains and escape from the city on foot, which was considered a very dangerous route.

The attack on the city took place on February 25, and the Armenians told the residents that if they surrendered Khojaly, they would be able to safely leave the city. The residents who remained in the city until that tragic night - approximately 2500-3000 people - were forced to leave their homes in the hope of taking refuge in one of the neighboring settlements. But on the night of February 25-26, the city of Khojaly was captured with the help of the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the former USSR, which consisted mainly of Armenian military personnel. The attackers razed Khojaly to the ground, killing civilians.

During this massacre, 613 innocent people were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 old people, and several hundred were injured. 8 families were completely destroyed, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one of them. 56 people were killed in especially brutal conditions: some were scalped, some were beheaded, burned alive, eyes gouged out. Some of the bodies were even dismembered. The bodies of pregnant women were found with bayonets in their bellies.

As a result of this cruel tragedy, 1,275 people were taken hostage. The fate of 150 people is still unknown. Wounded residents who escaped shelling had to cross the mountains on foot, and many of them froze to death," the article said.

On this occasion, at the opening of the concert program organized in the cultural center of the embassy, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to France, Leyla Abdullayeva, noted that we cannot allow the innocent victims to be forgotten.

"Khojaly left a mark in the minds of all Azerbaijanis. But Khojaly is also a voice that should be heard all over the world. That is why on May 8, 2008, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva initiated the "Justice for Khojaly" international campaign. Thanks to this campaign, the Khojaly massacre was officially recognized by the parliaments of 17 countries, 24 US states and 2 international organizations.

I hope that someday the French authorities will also express their attitude towards this massacre of civilians.

Remember - is our duty. We must constantly explain and remember the past, because those who forget it are doomed to relive it.

Forgiveness is not possible until justice is done and the international community recognizes this reality. We demand not revenge, but justice!" the ambassador said.

Further, several officials, including the first French ambassador to Azerbaijan, Jean Perrin (1992-1996), made a speech about the Khojaly tragedy.

"Following the Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to UNESCO, Elman Abdullayev, and the deputy of the Milli Majlis, the head of the Franco-Azerbaijani inter-parliamentary group, Soltan Mammadov, once again recalled what Khojaly is like in the memory of the Azerbaijani people and called on France to express its opinion on what actually happened and what is happening in this region now," said the article.