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14 February 2018

Emmanuel Dupuy, European Security and International Relations Specialist, is a political adviser to the French military contingent in Afghanistan, currently the national secretary of the Democrats and Independent Alliance for Defense Affairs. He wrote an article titled "Nagorno-Karabakh: 26 years later, a dizzying silence around the Khojaly genocide":

The author notes: "Over the night from February 25 to 26, 1992 Armenian armed forces implemented the capture of the Khojaly city with support of hard equipment and the personnel of the infantry guards regiment #366 of former Soviet Union. 613 Azerbaijanis, including 63 children, 107 women were completely destroyed. 26 years have passed since the Khojaly tragedy, but in spite of the time, no one, especially France, Europe, and world leaders have spoken openly and specifically about this tragedy, the bloody episode of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Fortunately, there are still cultural figures and writers, journalists, photographers, composers and artists, who have praised the Khojaly genocide through their works, and all three of those who are not indifferent to this painful issue are from France."

The author addresses them with two simple questions:

1. Why did you choose Khojaly as a vector for your works?

2. What message do you want to convey to the world with your works?

Reza Deghati - photographer-journalist

In response to the author's question, Reza Deghati, a photographer-journalist said: "I worked for the New York Times magazine in the 1980s and visited Azerbaijan in 1987 and followed the events of the Soviet Union, especially in Azerbaijan, in the aftermath of the Bloody January events in Baku. After the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence, a war broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh with the help of the Armenian and Russian troops, and at the end of February 1992, I heard news that a genocide was committed in Azerbaijan and I immediately left for Baku. I joined the French humanitarian organization "World Doctors and Pharmacists Without Borders" and set off for the city of Agdam where the battles flared up, and when we arrived we were greeted by desperate people who told us about the tragedy committed by the Armenian armed forces a few days ago. There were hundreds of people, especially women and children, waiting for news about their missing loved ones, most of them Khojaly residents, they talked about the horrors of the night of February 26. The Armenian armed forces surrounded villages and homes, burned and killed those who fled. The representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross were in Armenia and tried to remove bodies from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.There were some corpses with part of their bodies cut off and their eyes torn out. For several days in this square in Agdam, I was able to collect testimonies, and photograph families who were still waiting for news of their loved ones. When the Red Cross team took the bodies they were looking for their loved ones and it was a particularly sensitive scene to photograph. But as a journalist-photographer, I wanted to have more information. This is how I was able to attend the prisoner exchange negotiations between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. I also photographed these trading scenes. To better understand the situation, I toured Nagorno-Karabakh, I visited the city of Shusha where I was able to take photos just before the invasion by the Armenians, the part of the territory of Azerbaijan that remains under occupation since then.

As a journalist-photographer I try to show people the reality as I see it. With these series of photos I make in conflict zones, I want to show that wars can be avoided and that people must live in shared humanity and fraternity. I want to continue to show that the love and passion of humanity are much stronger than human suffering and war.

Morover, photography creates the link between the individuals, the peoples and the cultures so that one can live in a world of peace and serenity. I have seen many wars, conflicts, massacres, but despite this, I remain very optimistic about the future of our humanity. We all have the responsibility, almost the "divine" mission, to help humanity, while creating empathy.

Pierre Thilloy - Composer

Pierre Thilloy has repeatedly visited Azerbaijan in connection with the music and culture events. "During my first stay, I remember seeing a photo exhibition on Mstislav Rostropovich, I did not even know he was from Baku. But these photos made me suddenly discover that this country was at war, that it had nearly a million refugees, that 20% of its territory was occupied... I became aware of Khojaly genocide ... It was entirely unknown and ignored in the West, and then I composed my work called "Khojaly 613" dedicated to the tragedy victims to attract public attention ... Music is the sacred language of peace for me. I've been shocked by this incident and the silence around it so much. So the music speaks for itself ... it pays homage to the victims, it bears witness to a terrible wound and demands that the light and the truth be made public, that the world speaks about it, that we remember the victims ... I dream and I hope that this work may one day be the symbol of peace and meditation, as a tribute to this terrible tragedy."

Renaud Baltzinger - Artist

Renaud Baltzinger notes that he has drawn a series of paintings from the world suffering from more than 30 years and that he is now interested in genocide and in this case he is a strong contender of the Khojaly genocide. "Khojaly is a massive crime concealed from press and media, which will accuse the Armenian Diaspora of our country, the United States and the world in a very strong way. On the night of February 26, with the help of the Russians, Armenian armed units were brought to Khojaly and commited genocide killing 613 people. The Khojaly genocide was the cornerstone of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, and the silence of the international community over Khojaly and Nagorno-Karabakh has led to my hardest work ... I have painted more than 50 works on Khojaly murder. Each work reflects an Azerbaijani who is between life and death - his pain, confusion and fear, so my work took me to the dead and unrecognizable people and showed them to the public saying "WATCH". I organized an exhibition in France, and I was privileged to present the "Khojaly Collection" to Ms. Aurelie Fillippeti, former Minister of Culture, and I use it for every possible media presence in Europe, America, and even Asia. I have been working in this direction for six years and will continue to do so as long as I recognize it. It is a promise given to Azerbaijanis who have accepted me. Never be silent with time and silence. I completed this collection with my masterpiece "White Master" dedicated to the Khojaly children, which is exhibited at the Heydar Aliyev Center in France and currently in Baku."