THE KHOJALU "GENOCIDE" FABRICATION BY BAKU

http://chicago.indymedia.org/node/17383
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 2013-02-23 20:32
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Author:
The Keghart Editorial Board
Locality:
Other
Summary:
Azerbaijan is waging a propaganda war to spread misinformation.

People following the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict cannot miss the
Azerbaijani campaign to convince the world that the three-and-a-half
hour midnight attack on Feb. 25, 1992 by Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (aka
Artsakh) Self-Defense Forces on Azeri -held Khojalu was "genocide."

The charge is so ridiculous that a well-informed person would be
tempted to dismiss it out of hand. But these days of true lies,
blatant invasions depicted as peace-making humanitarian missions,
and the tiresome deception that "in 1915 Armenians were transported
to Syria for their protection," we are forced to assert the truth
again and again. It's a Sisyphean task, but there's no alternative.

This is what happened in Khojalu. For most of 1991 and early 1992 the
Azeri OMON (Special Purpose Militia Detachment) had systematically
shelled Armenian civilian targets, using rockets. The Azeris had also
blockaded the nearby airport. As a result of Azeri attacks, Armenians
had suffered civilian casualties, hundreds had been kidnapped and
thousands of cattle had been driven away. The blockade had also
resulted in lack of food, fuel and medical supplies, especially in
Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh. Armenian forces had to neutralize
Azeri fire in Khojalu and terminate the blockade. It was also obvious
to the Armenians that the Azeris were planning to attack the Armenian
centre of Askeran before moving on to the capital.

Using loudspeakers for ten days, the Armenian forces announced to
Khojalu inhabitants (mostly Meskhetian Turks who had been settled in
the village during Soviet times) and forces that an Armenian attack was
imminent. The announcements also informed Azeris that Armenians had
dedicated a corridor for the safe passage of civilians to Azeri-held
areas. But the Azeri authorities did nothing to facilitate the
evacuation of their people.

On Feb. 25, at 11:30 p.m. the Armenian self-defense forces attacked
Khojalu. A number of Azeri civilians tried to flee through the
corridor. However, Azeri forces fired at the column, killing an unknown
number. Although the Armenians were successful in neutralizing the
Azeri fire- power, Khojalu remained in Azeri hands for many months.

Soon after the attack, Azeri authorities claimed that Armenians had
committed not only genocide by firing at the fleeing Azeris but had
also mutilated the bodies of the dead. Although there was no shred of
evidence for their allegation, Azeri authorities repeated the charge.

In recent months they've decided to turn the Khojalu operation into
the focus of a full-court anti-Armenian campaign. As a result, Baku
has achieved a number of "propaganda and political victories:"

-- In early 2012, US Congressmen Bill Shuster and Dan Boren urged
fellow politicians to honor the memory of the Khojalu "genocide"
victims.

-- A member of the Texas House of Representatives has proposed a
resolution to commemorate the Khojalu "massacre."

-- An Azeri woman has sent a highly-publicized open letter to the
presidents of Armenia and of France, claiming that Armenians had
killed 613 civilians and taken 1,275 prisoners.

-- Azeri diplomats are seeking international recognition of Khojalu
"genocide."

-- Pakistan has recognized the Khojalu "genocide" and Mexico is being
approached to do the same.

-- Azerbaijan may use its current seat at the UN to spotlight the
"genocide" by Armenians.

-- Members of the Azeri Diaspora have been busy in Europe and in
North America appealing for the recognition of the Armenian operation
as genocide. Latvian Azeris are collecting signatures to protest the
Khojalu "genocide." A petition will be sent to the French Senate, the
Latvian Parliament and the European Parliament to demand recognition
of the "genocide."

-- Five Turkish universities and a technical college are commemorating
the Khojalu "genocide."

-- In Feb. 2012, a Khojalu "genocide" public commemoration was held
at the central square of Bursa, Turkey.

-- Azeri embassies are holding commemorations and are inviting
diplomats from various countries to join in the recognition of the
"genocide."

-- Photographs of Khojalu casualties will be exhibited in Europe and
a submission will be made to the International Court.

-- Baku has launched an Internet war with daily updates on "genocide"
recognition successes.

The above is by no means a comprehensive list of the Azeri war of
words. There are so many facts that disprove Baku's allegations that
one doesn't know where to begin. Space restrictions limit us from
reciting the chapter and verse of evidence against Baku's allegations.

Even cursory research reveals that the Azeris have nothing to stand on:

-- Azeri photographer Chingiz Mustafaev photographed the Azeri
corpses immediately after the fight and two days later. His latter
photos show that the position of the casualties had been changed and
their injuries had strikingly become more brutal. During both his
assignments the territory was still controlled by the Azeris. Shortly
after, President Ayaz Mutalibov said to the photographer, "Chengiz,
do not tell anybody about what you have noticed. Or, you'll be killed."

Undeterred, Mustafaev began to investigate on his own. But after
his findings were made public by the DR-Press Information Agency in
Moscow that the Azeri forces had participated in crimes against Khojalu
inhabitants, the journalist was killed not far from Aghdam. His death
remains a mystery.

-- After visiting Khojalu immediately after the fight, Czech journalist
Dana Mazalova reported that he hadn't seen any trace of barbarity on
the corpses.

-- Azeri human rights activist Arif Yunusof wrote in "Zercalo"
Azerbaijani newspaper (July 1992), "The town and its citizens were
deliberately sacrificed to the political goal." He was referring to
the quarrel between President Mutalubov and his enemies. The latter,
who wanted to topple the president, ordered the killing of their own
citizens to portray Mutalibov as incompetent.

-- Tamerlan Karaev, chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan
Republic, said in "Mukhalifat" Azeri newspaper (April 28, 1992):
"The tragedy was committed by Azerbaijan authorities, specifically
by a top official."

-- Vagif Guseynov, former Azeri minister of national security,
said shortly before his arrest, that the January 1990 Baku doings
[the pogroms of Armenians] and the events of Khojalu are the doing
of the same people [Azeri authorities].

-- A month after his resignation, Mutalibov told Mazalova in
"Nezavisimaya Gazeta" that according to the "Khojalu inhabitants who
escaped, all this was organized to dismiss me. Some forces acted to
discredit the president. I don't think that the Armenians, strictly and
professionally treating similar situation, could let the Azerbaijanis
gain any documents" which would incriminate them. He also said that
he couldn't believe Armenians would provide a safe corridor and then
shoot at the escaping civilians.

-- Eynulla Fatullaev of "Monitoring" Azeri magazine wrote that Khojalu
refugees in Naftalan had told her that a few days before the attack,
Armenians, with loudspeakers, kept warning the population of the
scheduled operation, suggesting civilians to leave the settlement and
break out of the encirclement via the humanitarian corridor. These
refugees also told Fatullaev that they had taken advantage of the
corridor and the Armenian forces had not fired at them. A few days
after the report was published, the magazine's editor [Elmar Guseyov]
was shot (March 2, 2000) by a stranger at the entrance to his house
in Baku.

-- The former Khojalu mayor told "Megapolis-Express" of Moscow that
he had asked for helicopters to evacuate Khojalu residents, but no
assistance was provided.

-- The number of Khojalu victims Azeri claim increases from year to
year. Immediately after the attack, Azeris reported their casualties
as 100. A week later that was inflated to 1,234 [the population of
village was 2,000 to 2,500]. In 1992 Azeri journalists Ilya Balakhanov
and Vugar Khaliov presented to the Memorial Human Rights Centre in
Moscow a video cassette they had shot from helicopter. It showed that
Khojalu civilian casualties did not exceed 60 people. Armenian forces
reported 11 Azeri civilian casualties. Armenians handed all civilians
to Azeri authorities.

--According to the Republic of Armenia (RoA), barbaric mutilations
of bodies took place near Aghdam (some seven miles from Khojalu),
on territory controlled by Azeri forces.

The above is just a sampling of evidence Armenian authorities in
Armenia and in Artsakh have at their disposal. They also have audio,
photographic and video evidence.

So despite the lame evidence of genocide, why does Baku invest so
much effort to prove that Armenians committed genocide?

-- To distract the Azeri populace from the shortcomings of the corrupt
and incompetent Aliev regime.

-- To prove the failings of their predecessor government.

-- To succeed in the information war when they have failed on the
battlefield.

-- To distract world attention from the Genocide of Armenians. As
junior partners in the "Turkbeijan" (Turkish-Azerbaijan) axis, Azeris
have to support their Big Brother.

-- To pre-empt talk of Azeri pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku
and Maragha, the ethnic purges in Nakhichevan, Kirovabad, and the
indiscriminate killing of civilians in Stepanakert.

-- To cover up their pre-Feb. 25 crimes around Khojalu: Azeri forces
had killed Armenian civilians in the surrounding region through the
use of highly-lethal weapons; they didn't evacuate Khojalu civilians
despite numerous warnings from Armenians; they slew their civilians
who had opted for the humanitarian corridor; to transform Armenians
into ogres, Azeri authorities mutilated their own people. They
doctored photos of casualties, using Photoshop and other technical
means. Photos of the casualties in the Kosovo War and the Kurdish
conflict have been depicted as Azeri casualties. There's extensive
forensic proof of this in Armenian hands.

-- The current Baku leadership had a hand in the Khojalu killings.

They did so to defeat to show to Azeri that Mutalibov is incompetent.

Blaming Armenians is an effective way to silence the suspicions of
Azeri citizens.