Conference "Khojaly: 25 Years of Mourning and Way Ahead to Justice" Held at IUS

On Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre took place at International University of Sarajevo. The delegation lead by H.E. Dr. Eldar Hasanov the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro, and Mr. Rovshan Rzayev, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 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 international conference titled "Khojaly: 25 Years of Mourning and Way Ahead to Justice" took place.

The premeditated crimes committed by the Armed Forces of Armenia against civilians in Khojaly town of Azerbaijan, unexpected military attack on this town, international reaction to these crimes as well as qualification of the crimes committed in Khojaly town, and responsibility under the international law were some of the topics discussed at the Conference.

“As we commemorate the 25th 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 Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović: “Never forget genocide, because if you do, it will be repeated”.

The Rector’s speech was followed by addresses by: Prof. Dr. Iulian Chifu, the President of the Center for Conflict Prevention & Early Warning from Romania; H.E.Dr. Eldar Hasanov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro; Assoc. Prof.  Dr. Metin Boşnak from IUS FEDU; Mr. Rovshan Rzayev, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Ms. Azra Jašarević, lawyer; Slobodan Samardžija, journalist; Seyran Mirzazada, Director of the Azerbaijan-Montenegro's Culture-Economic Centre; and Assist. Prof. Edin Halapić from UNSA Faculty of Law.

The event was attended by many distinguished guests, such as the Ambassador of Turkey to BiH, H.E. Haldun Koç, the President of SEDEF Foundation Mr. Hasan Toplaoğlu, a number of public officials, 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.


Information 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.