OICPU urges Arab parliaments to recognize Khojaly tragedy as crime against humanity (UPDATE)

OICPU urges Arab parliaments to recognize Khojaly tragedy as crime against humanity (UPDATE)

Details added in the fourth paragraph (the first version was posted at 13:43)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.19 / Trend M. Aliyev /

The Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) adopted a declaration, calling on parliaments in 51 countries to recognize the Khojaly tragedy as a crime against humanity, the OIC Youth Forum said today. The declaration was adopted during the thirteenth meeting of the Council of the OIC Parliamentary Union (OICPU) held in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The resolution notes that the organization recognizes the "mass slaughter committed by the Armenian armed forces against the Azerbaijani Khojaly region's civilian population as a crime against humanity."The representative interparliamentary platform also appealed to member countries "to give an appropriate assessment to this crime at the national level." The resolution was part of the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign initiated by Heydar Aliyev Foundation Vice President and OIC Youth Forum General Coordinator Leyla Aliyeva, whose work was lauded by the Council of the OICPU.

The idea to adopt the resolution was put forward by Aliyeva during her meeting with the national coordinators of the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign and was successfully realized as a result of lobbying by campaign activists among MPs worldwide.

Secretary General of the Youth Forum of the OIC Elshad Isgandarov, who addressed the meeting, said that given practical character of the work of the consul holding consultations on a regular basis, the adoption of a resolution recognizing the Khojaly tragedy as a crime against humanity once again confirms the principled position of the OIC on this issue and takes the process of political recognition of the tragedy to a practical plane.

He said that OICPU unites a quarter of parliaments around the world, and the use of terms, having political and legal content by this structure signifies a new stage in international recognition of the Khojaly tragedy, which is a part of a policy of the genocide carried out by Armenian nationalists against the Azerbaijani people, and bringing the perpetrators of the massacre to liability.

The Armenian military forces committed genocide in Khojaly on Feb. 26 1992. More than 600 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old men. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled during the genocide. Eight families were annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, and 25 lost both parents. Additionally, 1,275 peaceful residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.

The campaign was initiated by Aliyeva on the anniversary of Shusha's occupation on May 8, 2008. The campaign aims to educate the international community about the Khojaly tragedy. Hundreds of volunteers work on the campaign worldwide.

The OICPU holds a council meeting annually and a conference every two years.

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