Azerbaijani Diaspora in Latvia holds commemoration ceremony for Khojaly genocide victims

  25 February 2020    Read: 842
  Azerbaijani Diaspora in Latvia holds commemoration ceremony for Khojaly genocide victims

Azerbaijani Diaspora in Latvia has held a commemoration ceremony of the victims of the Khojaly genocide with the support of the Azerbaijani embassy in Latvia, reports with reference to the embassy.

The event began with a one-minute silence in memory of Khojaly genocide victims, and was attended by state, science and culture figures from Latvia, heads of diplomatic missions in the country, media representatives, as well as local and foreign students.

During the event Ambassador Javanshir Akhundov talked crimes against humanity committed by Armenian military forces in the occupied and ethnically cleansed Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. Having said that this act of genocide with special brutality served the policy of military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Armenia, Akhundov thanked the participants for their solidarity shown on this day of mourning.

He also spoke of international recognition of the Khojaly genocide and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Parliaments of several countries, including the adoption of a relevant statement on the Khojaly genocide on 26 February 2015 in the Saeima of Latvia.

The ambassador expressed his deep gratitude to the people of Latvia for the solidarity shown in the statement signed by Saeima's 53 deputies. Emphasizing the importance of uniting international efforts to prevent such tragedies from happening again, the ambassador said he hoped the parliaments of Latvia and the world countries would make appropriate statements calling for de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories and return of one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons to their homeland.

Then a documentary film about the Khojaly genocide – Endless Corridor, based on numerous documentary videos and photos published by live witness of the genocide Lithuanian military correspondent Richard Lapaitis – was presented to the participants of the event.

The documentary was screened at the K.Suns Cinema in Latvia on Feb. 24 and 25.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

During the Karabakh war, on Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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