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02 March 2018

Twenty-six years have passed since the bloodiest and most tragic incident in Azerbaijan’s recent history, Belgian Brussels News online newspaper said in its article dedicated to the Khojaly genocide of 1992.

“Hundreds of civilians, including women and children, were massacred when Armenian troops assaulted the town of Khojaly on 26 February 1992. According to Azerbaijan's government, 613 Azerbaijani civilians died, including 169 women and children,” the article said.

The article noted that the Khojaly massacre was part of an act of genocide and has already been recognized as such by an ever-increasing number of countries and organizations.

“According to reports from human rights organizations and international media the events that took place on 26 February 1992, saw the killings of hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians with extreme atrocity, most of them murdered, some were burned alive or beheaded, while others were dismembered, while others were scalped, only because they were Azerbaijanis,” said the article.

The article said that Azerbaijani refugees and displaced people constitute today one million persons out of the total population of 9 million, with tens of thousands of Azerbaijani inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh, victims of ethnic cleansing on the part of Armenia, have been deprived of their fundamental human rights and cannot go back to their historical homeland.

Up to date, more than 15 countries in the world have recognized the Khojaly genocide and Azerbaijan launched the “Justice for Khojaly” international campaign to raise public awareness, with over 120,000 people and 115 organizations already joined to it, the article said.

“In another important milestone in getting closer to this goal and to obtain legal assessment of the unlawful aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights in 2015, ruled in favor of seven Azerbaijani victims of ethnic cleansing who are deprived of their right to return to their homes and to receive compensation for their property in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the article added.

The article concluded that peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is today a very distant perspective until the international community gives a just and genuine assessment of the root causes and consequences of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including an end of the blind eye turned on one of the conflict’s darkest pages amongst which the massacre of Khojaly stands by far alone.