Wounds of the past: Experts in Yerevan say Azeri campaign on Khojalu designed to overshadow massacres of Armenians
A monument in Yerevan commemorating the victims of Sumgait massacres
By GAYANE ABRAHAMYAN
Official Stepanakert could turn the sowrd gainst acriminal regime in Baku. Arstakh Republic could try (and should) to make the best use of Turk-Azerbaijani created fake genocide.. I know that NKR is not recognized – but still NKR is subject of international law , negeoation partner to OSCE group, and beside this Baku has signed a cease fire regime with Stepanakert that is way NOT ARMENIA ...
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Armenia is losing in the information war with Azerbaijan, experts warn, pointing to the Azeri-organized festival of films on the Khojalu events recently shown in more than 50 countries, as well anti-Armenian protests and conferences on the same subject in Istanbul, Paris and Washington prior to the festival.
“The Azeri propaganda machine has been leading in an information war and succeeding because there is no adequate counterattack,” says Bakur Karapetyan, head of the Shoushi foundation.
Karapetyan believes that the “myth of Khojalu” was made up by the Azeri authorities to veil and cast shadow to conceal the February 27 events of 24 years ago, when Armenians suffered three days of pogroms in the town of Sumgait (20 km from Baku) and the massacre in the village of Maragha, a village in Nagorno-Karabakh that is now under Azeri control.
Fifty-three people were brutally murdered in Sumgait, hundreds were wounded and narrowly escaped death, the death-toll in Maragha reached 80-100 and 64 were taken hostage.
The Shoushi Foundation is planning to turn to the International Criminal Court in the Hague regarding the Khojalu case, because it says there are numerous documented facts proving that in 1992 the Armenian troops had opened a humanitarian corridor for the civilians of Khojalu before the attack, but they were later killed by their own compatriots far from the Armenian positions.
Even Ayaz Mutallibov, who was the president of Azerbaijan in the 1990s, confirmed that the humanitarian corridor had really been provided, and it is for voicing that very truth as well as the fact that innocent people of Khojalu were massacred by Azeri soldiers that Realny Azerbaijan newspaper chief editor Eylnulla Fatullayev was sent to prison in Azerbaijan.
In an article titled “Karabakh Diary” published in 2005 Fatullayev wrote: “Several days before the attack Armenians were repeatedly announcing through loudspeakers a warning message about the planned mission, and were asking to leave the place and exit the blockade through the humanitarian corridor opened for them along the Karkar river. People of Khojalu themselves say that they did use the corridor and that the Armenian soldiers positioned there did not open fire on them.”
President Mutalibov whose successor was Heydar Aliyev, said in an interview a decade after his tenure: “It is obvious that the execution of Khojalu residents was organized by someone to achieve a coup d’état in Azerbaijan.”
Another Azeri journalist and political analyst Elmar Huseynov was shot dead in front of his house in Baku in 2005; he had repeatedly written that people of Khojalu who were mostly re-settled Meskhetian Turks, became victims of Azeri domestic political issues.
The Monitor journal founded by Huseynov wrote on the 6th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev’s death: “They say one should either speak positively of a deceased person or not speak at all. As even if granted a huge desire to do so it’s impossible to say anything positive about Heydar Aliyev, we’d better follow the tradition and keep silence… hence we will not tell about the massacre of Khojalu he had arranged neither of the military revolution”.
While in Baku people presenting facts and opinions breaching the state propaganda are silenced, there are solid concerns in Armenia that it is going to be harder and harder by each passing day to prove what really happened there.
“We are terribly late; of course there functions the president-adjacent Public Relations and Information Center which has produced a fair amount of documentaries accurately stating the events of Sumgait, Maragha and Khojalu, but it’s too late considering the preceding 15 years of inertness. It’s going to take double efforts, otherwise if parliaments of other countries following Pakistan’s and Mexico’s examples recognized “Khojalu genocide”, we will lose not only the information war, but Karabakh as well,” says political analyst Alexander Manaseryan.