Khojaly act of genocide committed with an incredible brutality was one of the worst tragedies of the XX century. Azerbaijani will forever remember the scenes of such a cruel and merciless tragedy. I think the world community should also know more about the misfortunes and cruelties that Armenian terrorists have committed under the peaceful Azerbaijani population in the occupied lands.

Related image   As a result of the Armenian armed forces’ atrocities, 613 people were killed, 487 people were crippled. The only reason for this massacre of Khojaly civilian population was just that fact that they were Azerbaijanis. 1275 old men, children and woman were captured and subjected to unprecedented tortures, insults and humiliation.

One of such hostages of modern Armenian fascist captivity was Durdane Agayeva. We had no relatives in Khojaly. However, my father, being a director film at Azerbaijan Broadcasting Company was on television trips to Khojaly several times filmed a signalwoman Durdana Agayeva.

By the will of fate, on one of my trips, I flew with my father to Baku and during meetings with refugees and hostages from Khojaly, my father recognized Durdane as witnesses of this terrible night. In our novel "PAIN", one of the particularly difficult chapters is the story of a witness of our Durdane in that terrible February night. This is not a fantasy; this is a real event - the terrible tragedy of Durdana.
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Think about it, she was only 20 years old when the Armenian troops committed one of the most horrendous mass massacres in the recent history of humankind in Khojaly. She witnessed how a two-year-old Azerbaijani child was shot before her eyes with her parents, pregnant women and old people were killed by Armenian fascists. She experienced an inexpressible pain due to the inability to tell to the public about the humiliation of the Armenians. But, Durdana Agayeva in a conversation with us said that only by sharing her story, she can find comfort and begin healing...

I would like to present you short piece of our conversation with Durdane about terrible Khojaly night, on February 26, 1992.

      Durdana Agayeva - "I lost count of the days. Once they came and said that their leader Vladik was calling me. I hardly got up and went. There were a table, a chair, an iron bed and a stove in a small room. They forced me to kneel down, while they were sitting. I asked if my brother was alive. He shouted at me, "How dare you ask me questions?" Caro was a cruel beast comparing with the rest. He got up and hit me in the face, insulting me. Vladik said that they would not let me go. They were going to send me to Yerevan. “We need organs. You are young and your organs may be useful for us. We need young heart and kidneys. We’ll you will divide you into parts.” Then someone came and handed in some sheet of paper. Vladik looked and cried, "Oh, so, you are the signaler, right?"

Arye Gut - “How did they find out that you are a signaler?”

Durdana Agayeva - Those Armenian women from Baku, who were sleeping on mattresses in our cell, they told them everything about us. After a ruthless and brutal beating Vladik got my fingers stuck in the iron door, and I screamed, but I bit my tongue at once and got silent. I could hear an unceasing howling coming from behind the wall. Apparently, the other prisoners were tortured even in more cruel and barbaric way. An Armenian told me, “you are a wolf. Nobody would endure such a torture, and you do not even scream, but only groan.” When five or six people beat me, I managed somehow endure it, but every time I fainted. However, I did not want to be the subject of exchange.

Arye Gut - “Why?”

Durdana Agayeva - “My mother and father died and I knew nothing about my two brothers. Who knows, may be I had no one anymore, but Elshad. I had only one brother left in this world, and he was subjected to the torture behind the wall. How could I leave him there? So, I decided that I would stay with Elshad, whatever happened, and share his fate..

...It was extremely cold in the empty cell and I had only boots on me without any socks, a red dress and white jacket, and a piece of aunt Maleyka’s shawl. The time passed agonizingly slowly. The feeling of fear let me neither to sleep nor to get hungry. It began to get light two or three hours later. I sat in a corner, with my hands clasping round my knees, and putting my chin on them. Finally, the door opened and old Armenian wearing black clothes with a mop in his hand came in to take away the mattresses captive Armenian women were sleeping on. Having noticed me, he began to beat me with the handle of the mop and with his feet. Having heard him calling five or six bearded Armenians wearing black came in. They beat me severely. They beat me with boards and clubs, with everything. First, I screamed, but then I quickly fell silent. When they got tired they left, and I fell to the floor exhausted. At the end of the day one of them cut my boots off with a knife and took away with him. The next day the door opened several times and bearded Armenians in black came in with the sticks in their hands. I couldn’t see their faces in the darkness. I was completely exhausted because of the beating. And the screams coming from the adjoining cell grew terrifying. One more night passed...

Finally, I lost consciousness because of the severe beatings, and when I woke up I felt a cutting pain all over my body. I had ulcers on my mouth and lips, my knees and feet were covered with blood. When I came to consciousness a little and got used to the semi-darkness, I noticed my white coat in the far corner and there was my red dress on it. Somehow I crawled there and pulled cloth on. It was wet and dirty with mud, but still I felt relived a little. For the first time I thought it was good that dad had died. It was good he was not there! If he knew that his only daughter fell into the hands of the Armenians, his heart would break apart.       The second night in captivity I spent thinking about the last minutes spent with family, when we fled from Khojaly past Askeran, and I was shot in the leg. Then I dozed off for some time. When I woke up it was unusually light and I saw the sky. For a moment, I thought that one can have such visions only if he dies. I wanted to move my hands, but it did not work. I was cold and covered with snow. And I thought again, “I must be dead,” and tried to remember my death. I remembered that the last time a group of men beat me. And the next was emptiness... So this time they’ve succeeded and killed me. I got rid of this agony at last. There must be my father and mother somewhere. I wanted to call them, but it was like weak "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah."

Image result for Khojaly and Arye GutA passing by Armenian came up to me having heard my voice, "Bitch, haven’t you died yet?" And with these words he grabbed me by my braid, he dragged me somewhere, like a sack. On the way he said, "We thought it was over for you and threw you away. Two days have already past..." He dragged me into the basement with the same back door and threw me into the camera. I could not believe that I was thrown at the camp dump, where I was laying in the snow for two days. My braids that the last time my mother carefully wove for me were smeared with mud and had icicles on it... Why did not I die to get rid of all this?... What have I done wrong, why do I have to tolerate such hardships? I was thrown into the cellar again."

Durdana Agayeva - "Caro came in the morning, but even now 20 years later I get afraid only hearing his name. "It is good that you have not died. We nearly lost so many good organs."

He went ahead, and I dragged myself in a wet dress behind him. I could barely move my wounded and swollen leg. We approached the car. I was very scared. I wished they killed me first, and then began to cut.

Arye Gut - “Did Caro took you to Yerevan?”

Durdana Agayeva - “No, to Khankendi. We entered a strange building. In the corridor, Armenian woman started yelling at me and insulting. The house was two-stored. The second floor was completely destroyed, probably it was hit by a shell. Many houses were destroyed. There was a car beside every house to load things into them. Some took out the loot using cars, the rest - on the carts. They looted cattle, took away the hens and chickens. The Armenians broke off the stones of the destroyed masonry and loaded them on the cars. Caro asked which of the houses was ours. "Oh, that's great. It is a pity that it was destroyed. I would take you home... Would not you like to look at your house for the last time?"

At that moment I was so happy to see our house destroyed. For years my parents were dreaming about my wedding, imagining how they would take me out of our house and I would go down the stairs in a white dress. That time the last thing I would like to do is to enter our house with Caro, where the restless souls of my father and mother were wandering around... I was in such a terrible state that I no longer felt physical pain from the tortures I endured. My heart was breaking apart. It was very hard for me to watch them looting our neighbors’ houses, knowing how difficult it was for them to get it all..."
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"...In the Askeran cell everything was as usual. The cries of tortured people could be heard from behind the wall. After all the suffering I went through, I was glad that they did not take me to Yerevan and cut out my organs as Caro threatened. Some time later a stranger came into in the cell. He was around 27-28 years old, and had an athletic build. He was examining me for some time, and then said something in Turkish. The time we did not know Turkish. He was Turkish Armenian, who came to fight in Karabakh. He beat me so much... I was almost like a corpse. He raised me on my feet, but once he let me go, I fell on the floor dead. So he was beating me for about an hour. You don’t see in any movie what I’ve suffered that day. After two hours the guard came and said that Vladik was calling me. But I couldn’t walk, and moreover I could not even crawl. I did not remember how long I had been in kept hostage. I could only notice how the nights turned into days, and how changes those who entered the cell to beat me up, to torment and torture me. Nevertheless, somehow I began to move toward the exit, dragging my legs.

Arye Gut - “Did they feed you?”

Durdana Agayeva - “They gave me only water in a disgusting bucket. They put it under the roof edge to collect the dripping melt water. There were several Armenians in Vladik’s room, sitting around the heated stove. Seeing me, Vladik said, "Come in, sit down." His ‘sit down’ meant to kneel. Anyway I felt like falling down as soon as I took my hands off the wall. He asked how Caro had taken me to the Khankendi.

Mocking, he said, "It was me who told him to bring you back to Askeran. And do you know why?" "Why..?" "Because I need you here as you are a signaler." The people in the room laughed. They humiliated me, but their words had no effect on me. In my heart I was afraid, but I was in such a terrible state that it was not interesting for me what they were talking about. I was waiting for death, and if I only could I would have done something that would kill me for... Then Vladik said, "You said you have a brother here, too, huh? What's his name?" I replied that his name was Elshad Agayev.

"Ask if he is still alive" Then he turned to me, "We have killed a lot of young Azerbaijanis. It is necessary to check, whether your brother among them." With these words, he ordered the guard to take me back to the cell. In the morning, there was another Armenian. He grabbed me by the hair. He was beating me against the wall by my head during an hour, and I fell to the floor dead. He tied my hands with wire and left. Then one soldier came in. He was Russian.

He asked me who did it. I shrugged. He called someone saying that there was a girl-signaler, and told them to untie me. Then came another Armenian. He untied my hands and dragged me into the cell. After some time, there was Caro again and he ordered to follow him. I went after him with my bare feet in the cold and frost. In general, I followed him, dragging my bare feet.

Caro made me sit down in the back seat of "UAZ". He sat next to the driver and ordered to move. And again we went up to the side of Khojaly past Askeran fortress. I sat in the back seat alone, but I felt that there was someone else behind me. I could hear the strange sounds, which were getting more and more terrifying. Finally I couldn’t bear it anymore and looked back into the trunk. There was some kind of animal that apparently could tear a man into pieces. Maybe it was a mad dog. And I convinced myself that very soon they would set that dog on me... All the way long there were the tanks lined up. I was astonished that the Armenians had so much equipment. And our people often got on the battlefield only with hunting rifles in their hands. They had unusual machine guns, with iron butts and their doles were wrapped with a net.

Arye Gut - “Have you seen another military hardware?”

Durdana Agayeva - “There was a lot of soldiers and tanks near Khankendi. I noticed there a black man with pierced ear. Someone said, "Do you see our soldiers? There are also Arabs among them.” I saw women as well, wearing uniforms, boots and body armor. The car stopped at the cliff. The rocks were covered with ice.

Caro got out of the car, took a bag from the trunk and threw it down the icy rock. That was a man wrapped in sack. He scratched on the stones down the rock. I haven’t seen that person’s face. I noticed only two lines instead of eyes. All face was swelled up. I could see neither the mouth nor the nose. He was wearing nothing but the shirt. Caro opened the car door to knock me down as well. But Vladik was ahead of him, “Caro, I told you, do not touch the girl. We will exchange her.” And I was taken back. I have seen and endured there a lot. Once a Baku Armenian beat me like a dog in a cell, put a machine in my mouth, and then changed his mind. They were having fun, and told us that the prisoners should be tortured, writhing with pain and desire the death. One day, they pushed me into the room with a stove, made me sit down on a chair and told to put my hands on the knees.”

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 “Many people I knew in person. Then five or six bearded soldiers came in. I thought that time, “we all will be killed.” Just in front of my eyes they began to beat those guys brutally with clubs. The guys bumped against the wall and fell down. The entire wall was stained with blood. There was Maleyka’s son, the one who had been watching over me. I covered my face with hands. They began to beat me. "Look!" They grabbed me by my hair and pulled up. Sitting in the room Armenians were drinking vodka and having fun. It took more than an hour. Then they started shooting at the prisoners.”

Arye Gut - “Did the son of Maleika died?”

Durdane Agayeva - “No, he lost consciousness. They were thrown into the cell again.Why are you closing your face with hands?" One of Armenians ordered me to put my hands on the table and began to beat on my hands with a club. And the other said, "You know, where our brother has come from to beat you? From France!"

"Once Vladik came into the cell and said that he let me go. He told that our people paid them good money for me. I said that I was not going to leave without my brother, even if I they would kill me. "You bitch, you should thank me that I'm letting go the signaler. Those bitches who we have let go earlier told about you there and Allahverdi requires us to let you go all day long. I would not let you go, but I gave a word of a man.”

I repeated that I would not leave without my brother. Then, by his order several Armenians beat me unconscious. "I woke up in some dark place, which looked like a basement. I sat with my mother and brothers. At this time father came in and said, “Why are you sitting in the dark?” He went out and then came back with matches and candles. He lit a candle and left. Mother stayed with us, her five children. Then I woke up. The vision vanished and I cried.

Caro came in and called me over to Vladik’s room. "Do you want to see your brother?" These words struck me like a flash of lightning. I prayed God mentally so that they won’t show me the dead body. Vladik said something to his people, and one of them went out. In a few minutes the door opened and there stood my brother covered with blood. His upper lip was split from the beating and hung; his face was swollen and he got fresh bruises all around his body. Barely dragging his feet, he approached me crawling. I hugged him by his legs and bent to lick his feet. I said a few kind words, and looked up into his face. We were taken to a cell. We sat in the corner, leaning against each other and talked in a half-whisper. I told him that our mother was killed.

The next morning we were taken to Vladik’s place. He put a piece of paper and a pen in front me of and ordered,

"Write a letter to Bagirov Allahverdi. Write that we let you go, but in return they have to give one of our men. Write that you and your brother are alive. We let you both go, and in return they have to give us petrol, bread and cigarettes, as much as we say."

Then they brought the guitarist Valeh. I was horrified when I looked at his hands. Then I learned that his hands were burned in the oven, so that he could no longer play at the weddings. He was wearing his shirt, torn from the beatings, and the pants; he was barefoot and shivering. I asked Vladik to put on him my brother’s jacket and did so. Despite the laughter of the Armenians, I put my stockings on his legs. I said that they were exchanging us, and soon he would be exchanged as well.

There are a lot of materials and video documents as well as testimonies provided by witnesses of the tragedy, which confirm the participation of the above-mentioned high-ranking officials of the Republic of Armenia in Khojaly massacre. Unlike the Nazis who tried to hide their crimes, some of these individuals gave interviews to foreign media. In these interviews, they justified and boasted their barbarous criminal acts against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly. Serzh Sargsyan’s words say it all: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype. 

The bloody act of genocide, which was committed with incredible brutality and barbarism in Khojaly, is one of the most horrible tragedies of the late 20th century. Cruel and merciless scenes of that massacre will always remain a never-healing scar in the hearts of Azerbaijanis.
  This is a sorrow for innocent Azerbaijanis, who had their own stories, families, childhood, dreams and future, which was cut short as a result of this bloody massacre perpetrated by the Armenian armed forces. The relatives of the victims have one common pain: those who had committed this terrible crime against humanity have not been prosecuted by international court and have remained unpunished. Unlike the consequences of World War II, when the majority of the Nazis faced the international court at the Nuremberg trial, ideologists and executors of the mass slaughter of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens in Khojaly live freely in the modern Republic of Armenia.


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Arye Gut 






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