Saturday, March 05, 2011

Azerbaijan: U.S. Congressmen Condemn Massacre of Azerbaijani Civilians in Khojaly

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Hon. Steve Cohen, Hon. Virginia Foxx, Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hon. Sue Wilkins Myrick and Hon. Bill Shuster have issued statements remembering the innocent victims of the Khojaly massacre in Azerbaijan and harshly condemning this heinous crime.

Khojaly was a small town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. On February 25-26, 1992 the armed forces of Armenia invaded Khojaly brutally killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, women and the elderly. 613 civilians, of them 106 women, 83 children and 79 elderly, were savagely slaughtered. Another 1,000 people were wounded, and 1,275 were taken hostage.

Calling Khojaly "the site of the largest killing of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians," Hon. Bill Shuster said: "Azerbaijan has been a strong strategic partner and friend of the United States. The tragedy of Khojaly was a crime against humanity and I urge my colleagues to join me in standing with Azerbaijanis as they commemorate this tragedy."

Referring to the Human Rights Watch, Hon. Virginia Foxx called the Khojaly massacre "as the largest massacre" in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"Few have heard of the people of Khojaly, who were massacred by Armenian militants," said Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson. "The ethnic cleansing was successful, and the town no longer exists. Although the tragedy received widespread media coverage, since then it has largely been forgotten. I hope that now and every year after this atrocity, we can pray for the victims."

Citing various reports from U.S. media outlets and international human rights organizations, Hon. Steve Cohen said: "As part of the Khojaly population that tried to escape, they encountered violent ambushes that led to abuses, torture, mutilation and death."

"Azerbaijan is a strong ally of the U.S., especially during this time of uncertainty in the Middle East. We grieve with its people as we remember the victims of the Khojaly Tragedy," said Hon. Sue Wilkins Myrick.

Source: Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan