Book Launch "Memories of Khojaly: The Children that Did Not Grow Up" Held at IUS

On Friday, Feb. 22, 2017, the author Mr. Elshad Eyvazli introduced the book "Memories of Khojaly: The Children that Did Not Grow Up, 25-26 February 1992" to the audience at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS). The book is based on testimonies of 25 eyewitnesses of the Khojaly massacre, who were at the time between 4 and 13 years old, and have lost both of their parents in it.

The book launch held at the IUS was part of the commemoration program dedicated to the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre.

The delegation lead by H.E. Dr. Eldar Hasanov the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro, laid a wreath to the War Victims Monument at the Azerbaijan-Bosnia-Herzegovina Friendship Park. After the ceremony, the delegation headed to the International University of Sarajevo where the book launch took place.

 IUS Rector Dr. T. Erkan Türe opened the commemoration at the IUS main amphitheater:

“As we commemorate the 26th anniversary of Khojaly massacre, we must inform the international community about the horrors of the war crimes committed by occupiers and demand justice for the innocent victims”, said IUS Rector Prof. Dr. Tahsin Erkan Türe. Dr. Türe also reminded the audience of the message of the first Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović: “Never forget genocide, because if you do, it will be repeated”.

The Rector’s speech was followed by the addresses of H.E. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, the author of the book Mr. Elshad Eyvazli, the Republic of Azerbaijan Parliament Member Mr. Chingiz Ghanizadeh, Dr. Sabahudin Hadžialić and Dr. Edin Halapić.

The author Elshad Eyvazli said: “The book was based on the memories and testimonies of the eyewitnesses of the genocide. These children are now grownup mature people and although they continue living their lives, their thoughts are still in the night between 25 and 26 February 1992. This is why I decided to give this book the title “Children that Did Not Grow Up.”

The audience also heard the testimonies of the two guests who have travelled to Sarajevo for this occasion, the two eyewitnesses included in the book: Mr. Murad Huseynov and Mrs. Sabina Maharramove, both of whom who lost both parents in Khojaly.

The program ended in the IUS main hall where the attendees had a chance to see a photo exhibition dedicated to the Khojaly genocide.

The event was attended by many distinguished guests, such as the Ambassador of Turkey to BiH, H.E. Haldun Koç, parliament members of the Republic of Azerbaijan, distinguished academics, academics of IUS, experts in legal practice and conflict studies, NGO representatives, and other honorable guests.

 The conference was organized jointly by Embassy of Azerbaijan in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, and the International University of Sarajevo.


About Khojaly genocide

Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenian armed forces with the help of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former USSR implemented the seizure of Khojaly - a small town situated in the Nagorny, Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. An unprecedented massacre was committed against the Azerbaijani population in the town. This bloody tragedy, which became known as the Khojaly genocide, involved the extermination or capture of the thousands of Azerbaijanis; the town was razed to the ground.

Brutal annihilation of hundreds of innocent inhabitants of Khojaly was one of the most heinous crimes during the armed conflict in and around the NagornyKarabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As a result, 613 persons were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people. 1,275 inhabitants were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 persons remains unknown to this day. In the course of the tragedy 487 inhabitants of Khojaly were severely maimed, including 76 children not yet of age. 6 families were completely wiped out, 26 children lost both parents, and 130 children one of their parents. Of those who perished, 56 persons were killed with especial cruelty: by burning alive, scalping, beheading, gouging out of eyes, and bayoneting of pregnant women in the abdomen.

The Khojaly Genocide is recognised and commemorated by parliamentary acts adopted in numerous countries. So far, the legislative bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Romania, Sudan and Djibouti as well as from more than ten states in the United States of America have adopted relevant parliamentary resolutions.

Also, at its 39th session held in Djibouti in November 2012, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a resolution recognising the crimes committed in Khojaly as genocide.