We are as people of Azerbaijan commemorate 26th of February as a Day of Mourning in Azerbaijan. The massacre was committed and innocent people killed by Armenian armed forces in the Khojaly district on February 26, 1992. "Undoubtedly, what happened in Khojaly was the largest massacre of the conflict. In all, the assault and capture of the town took the lives of 613 of its people, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. 1275 were taken hostage, while the fate of another 150 people remains unknown. The town was razed to the ground. In the course of that tragic night 487 inhabitants of Khojaly were wounded, including 76 children; eight families were completely wiped out; 130 children lost one parent; and 25 children lost both parents. Of those who perished 56 were killed with particular cruelty: they were variously burned alive, beheaded or had eyes gouged out, while pregnant women were bayoneted in the abdomen". (www.justiceforkhojaly.org/content/how-it-happened-0).
Khojaly massacre is now 26 years old. There is no world to hear his voice, listen to him. Khojaly was not only massacre in which innocent people murdered on the ground of ethnicity in 20th century, but also Holocaust was a genocide where Jews were subjected to. We are as victim of massacre asking international community to hand perpetrators of Khojaly massacre over Hague Tribunal. Innocent mothers, father, wives, children and grandparents were tortured as well as brutally killed.
To show the cruelty and massive murdering of innocent population due to their ethnicity to the world, I interviewed a witness who voluntarily joined a group of people went to help people in the Khojaly district. His name is Jabbarov Oruj. He is 56 years old and was born in the Ahmadavar village of Aghdam. He is a person with disability earned during Karabakh war. He was in Aghdam during Khojaly massacre. He has memories to say about Khojaly.
Photo of Oruj Jabbarov:
Rafi Gurbanov:How did you know about Khojaly that there were innocent people killing?
Witness: We heard voices of bullet. Armenia started to occupy territories of Azerbaijan since 1988. Thus, the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan was going on. It was 26th February 1992. Early in the morning of 26th February, about 4.00 am, we saw from the front line that Kojaly district were burning and elders, women and children were running, crying, screaming and tried to pass to Aghdam. But there was Armenian military line between Khojaly and Aghdam. It was called Asgaran line where Armenian military forces served. They were shooting Kojalians in order to frighten them to flee. They fled through mountains and forests with bare foots. Because there was only one corridor for Khojaly people to escape, it was kept by Armenian armed forces. Some of them were killed in the forests and mountains. They did not have weapons to protect themselves, families and relatives. We were four men voluntarily formed a rescue team for helping victims in Khojaly. Also, I am the one whose brother killed by Armenian soldiers during Karabakh war. Photo of people escaping from Khojaly in 1992, the man in a red circle is Oruj Jabbarov:
Rafi Gurbanov: Mr. Oruj, you were saying that you saw corpses, dead body of children in the forest and mountain. Can you tell me how old were they?
Witness: Majority of them were children and women because men were staying in the Khojaly to help their families to escape. I saw children [Oruj is crying and can`t describe the scene] were from 5 years old to 10 years. They were sleeping without breathing. Most of them were killed before their parents with shooting or stabbing. We took them and brought Aghdam to bury.
Rafi Gurbanov: You mentioned that there was only one road from Khojaly to Aghdam district. Were there any safe roads to rescue Khojalians?
Witness: There was only one road and it was occupied by Armenian military forces. If there was such kind of safe place to come to the Aghdam, why did the people from Khojaly choose mountains and forests to escape with bare food? Armenian army was shooting Khojaly settlers when they tried to flee through this road. Many of them were killed while escaping through. We rescued people at the expense of martyrs.Photo was taken during Khojaly massacre, the man in a red circle is J.Oruj: Rafi Gurbanov: Were there any foreign journalists during Khojaly massacre? Did you see them?
Witness: I remember that there were some journalists after February 28, 1992. They came with the assistance of Chingiz Mustafayev (he was a journalist murdered during war over Nagorno-Karabakh and he is a national hero of Azerbaijan) to the area where massive killings were committed by Armenian military forces and they went the area through Azerbaijan. Khojaly was already occupied by Armenia and it was impossible to go there and film Armenian cruelty. They could only take pictures and videos of tortured, brutally killed [Armenian soldiers] Azerbaijanis in the border of Aghdam and Khojaly where they were trying to escape.
Rafi Gurbanov: Did you see any Soviet soldiers during the war in Khojaly?
Witness: Yes. I saw a Bronetransporter and BMP military vehicles when we reached near the area supervised by Armenian military forces. These vehicles were controlled by Soviet soldiers. The military vehicles were installed behind the Garagaya hill (red. it is located on the road to Aghdam). Two of my fellowmen were shot by BMP and they wounded in that time.
Rafi Gurbanov: Have you witnessed any kind of tortures or brutality on the corpses?
Witness: ……. [Pause for a while]. It is very difficult for me to describe the scene. I think you cannot find a human in the world that can do these types of cruelty. I can say that they are not humanbeings. It was a war. The war has its own rules such as forgiving children, women and elders. But Armenia did not know rules no…they did not have sense of humanity. Children were stabbed, elders and women were variously burned alive, beheaded or had eyes gouged out, while pregnant women were bayoneted in the abdomen. One who did not see these, could not imagine the scenes [cleaning tears from his face and keeping calm for a while]. When I close my eyes, I see all these tragedies.Tortures, innocent………
Photo of newspaper article written by Jabbarov Oruj on Khojaly massacre: