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28 February 2019

The U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) has organized a protest rally outside the Armenian Embassy in Washington to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide. The rally involved the Azerbaijani communities living in Washington and nearby areas.

Addressing the heads of the Armenian diplomatic mission in Washington, Badir Mammadli, co-chair of the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN), read a statement by Congressman Alsie Hastings, chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, over the night of February 25-26. On the night of February 25-26, 1992, 613 civilians were brutally killed by Armenian servicemen in Khojaly.

Anar Usubov, an 11-year-old resident of Khojaly at the time of the genocide, said that 27 of his relatives had been killed as a result of the war crime. He demanded that the perpetrators of this war crime be brought to justice. He said that Karabakh has always been the land of Azerbaijan and soon all IDPs will return to their native lands.

The protesters held posters highlighting the truth about the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and the Khojaly genocide. They chanted slogans such as “Condemn Armenian terror!”, “Khojaly massacre must not be repeated!”, “Armenia is to blame for ethnic cleansing!”, “Shame on Armenia!”, “Armenia get out of Karabakh!”, “We will never forget Khojaly”, “Shame on Pashinyan”, “Kocharyan, Sargsyan and Ohanyan are criminals”.

The protesters urged the Armenian government to recognize the Khojaly genocide, and demanded that the Armenian armed forces immediately withdraw from Azerbaijan, free hostages and ensure the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their homelands. The Azerbaijani community members called on the Armenian government to recognize the mass killings of the peaceful Azerbaijani population living in other settlements of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, including Malibayli, Gushchular, Aghdaban and Garadaghli. They also urged Armenia to fulfill the four resolutions of the UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884.

At the end of the protest, Azerbaijani activists sang the "Soldier's Anthem" and the national anthem of Azerbaijan as a sign of solidarity and support for the Azerbaijani soldier.