Due to the massacre, ethnic cleansing and deportation policy carried out by Armenian nationalists and their supporters against Azerbaijan during more than two centuries, our nation encountered grievous sufferings. As a result of this policy carried out by stages Azerbaijanis were banished from their historical, ethnic lands where they lived thousands years and were subjected to mass annihilation and massacre. The aim of this repulsive policy was to banish Azerbaijanis from their native lands by force and to establish “Great Armenia” state that was made up by Armenian historians and ideologists.
From the beginning of XIX century Armenians had been resettled in historical Azerbaijani lands: ten thousands of Armenian families were moved from Iran and Turkey to Iravan province, Nakhchivan, Karabakh, Zangazur and other regions.
In 1905-1907, 1918-1920, 1948-1953 and 1988-1993 the rights of Azerbaijanis were grossly violated, they were subjected to ethnic cleansing accompanied by inhuman and degrading treatment. Since 1988 due to aggression policy carried out against Azerbaijan by Armenia, 20 percent of the country lands were occupied, ten thousands of people were killed: hundred thousands of Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs.
Massacre and deportation policy carried out by Armenians against Azerbaijanis particularly broadened in 1918-1920, revealed their disgusting abhorrent intention such as to wipe Azerbaijani nation off the map.
The facts reflected in historical documents with regard to national slaughter committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis during those years prove ruthless annihilation of Azerbaijanis in Shamakhi, Guba, Mugan, Zangazur, Garabagh, Iravan province and other districts, as well as plunder and destruction of cities and villages.
The most horrible tragedies committed by Armenians are the genocide acts against Azerbaijanis of March 31, 1918.
On March 30 of that year early in the morning Armenian-Bolshevik forces opened drum-fire at Baku from ships. Later on armed dashnaks squeezed the houses of Azerbaijanis and mercilessly annihilated the people. On March 31 and April 1-2 bloodsheds gained mass scale. Armed Armenian soldiers killed civilians mercilessly.
During those incidents many towns, hundreds of settlements, including 150 villages of the Azerbaijanis in Karabakh were destroyed, horrible slaughters were committed in Shusha city. About 700 thousands of people as well as about 30 thousands of Azerbaijanis in Baku and surronding villages were exterminated. Mosques and school buildings were burned and destroyed. 115 villages in Zangezur and 211 villages in Irevan province were ruined and the population was annihilated during the whole period of slaughters committed in different regions of Azerbaijan.
Armenians killed Muslim population with torture, thrust a bayonet into infants, chopped off noses, ears and head of corpses, burnt houses together with people, beat women with the butt of a rifle to death by knotting their hair. These facts are just a little part of savagery of Armenian dashnaks against Azerbaijanis and related only to Baku slaughter committed in last three days of March of 1918.
During March slaughters Armenians fired at and destroyed a number of old buildings, including sanctuaries-Juma and Thazapir mosques, Ismailia building which is considered one of pearls of world architecture.
As it is known, the facts proving mass human annihilations committed with special brutality by the Armenians during March events in 1918 in Guba region have been revealed recently. countless human bones that were found are visual evidence of the Armenian vandalism. It has already been identified that these bones belong to the local civilians cruelly murdered by the Armenian armed groups during their assault on Guba city in 1918. “Massacre Memorial Complex” is being created as a respect to the memory of ten thousands of persons killed there in the period of March incidents.
In accrodance with the international law, genocide being severe international crime, belongs to the group of crimes as the agression aimed against peace and world security, also as war and international crime against humanity. The legal basis for the crime of genocide was determined by the Convention “On Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” adopted by the Resolution of the UN General Assembly No. 260 (III) dated 9 December 1948. As it is articulated by the Convention, genocide is an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, religious, or racial group. Each action that is a part of crime against humanity, and is envisaged in this document was committed by Armenians against Azerbaijanis during March events in 1918 and should be recognized as genocide from the perspective of law.
Armenians’ genocide policy against Azerbaijanis was proved during Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and showed once more that attitude of Armenians towards our nation was not changed. Today, when all progressive humanity and nations strive for peace and development, Armenia carries out the policy of ethnic cleansing, terror and violence. Consequently, this has a negative impact on stability, peace-building and development processes in the South Caucasus and Europe.
The genocide policy has been witnessed by world community for years. However, according to the universal norms of international law, inviolability of borders should be respected; violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty is unacceptable.
Occupied Nagorny Karabakh and surrounding regions are the integral part of Azerbaijan. Despite the fact that the UN Security Council adopted four Resolutions on territorial integrity and unconditional liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan UNGA adopted the Resolution titled “Situation on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” from March 14, 2008, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) adopted Resolution and Recommendation No. 1416 and 1690 confirming the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian military forces and governing of Nagorno-Karabakh by separatists, Armenia refuses to implement them till now.
However, in these Resolutions Armenia was recognized as an aggressor and was demanded to withdraw its military forces form occupied Azerbaijani territories, as well as to create conditions for one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to return to their native lands. Unfortunately, no progress is observed in implementation of those resolutions. Armenian side doesn’t fulfill the requirements.
In the framework of artificial dwelling policy in the occupied Azerbaijani territories by Armenians, 1109 persons were moved to Nagorny Karabakh in 2011. 94 percent of them were moved there from Armenia, and other part from different countries.
In his article in the newspaper “The International Herald Tribune” published in USA, South Caucasus Project Director of International Crises Group Lawrence Sheets says Armenians taking the opportunity of the chaos emerged on the eve of Soviet collapse, laid claim to Azerbaijani lands, they provided an opportunity to occupy Nagorny Karabakh and surrounding seven rayons. Thus, 20 percent of Azerbaijan territory was occupied. Non fulfillment of UN Resolutions by Armenia and ingnorance this fact by world community causes negative case law.
After our country gained independence, National Leader of Azerbaijan, Haydar Aliyev in the Decree On Genocide against Azerbaijanis” dated 26 March 1998 gave the political recognition to these events and the fact of the genocide against Azerbaijanis by Armenia was officially declared for the first time. It is already fourteen times that 31 March is commemorated as the date of genocide against Azerbaijanis at the governmental level each year.
The Azerbaijani side seeks a peaceful solution to the conflict. President Ilham Aliyev declared several times that we would achieve restoration of our territorial integrity and sovereignty, and exposure of the persons committed genocide, caused a quarrel and enmity among persons and nations.
Now, the world community admits the justified position of the Azerbaijani side, that its territories were occupied and Nagorno-Karabakh belonging to Azerbaijan is practically out of its control and supports the restoration of territorial integrity.
European Union declared its will to participate in solution of Nagorny Karabakh conflict, as well as in establishing trust between the sides several times. At press-conference organized during the trip to Azerbaijan, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it is high time to solve the Nagrony Karabakh conflict which hinders peace. He added Germany played an important role in organization of debates in Brussels aimed at ensuring active participation of European Union in solution of this conflict, and at supporting the OSCE Minsk Group. German Minister G.Westerwelle stressed the necessity of this conflict’s resolution by peaceful means and called upon for strengthening efforts in this regard.
The web-site stern.de emphasizes that Nagorny Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan according to the international law and notes Azerbaijani territories are still under the Armenian occupation.
The representatives of Azerbaijani and Turkish Diasporas in the USA urged the Congress in relation to 31 March-the Day of Genocide against Azerbaijanis and asked to provide support for commemoration of this day, to adopt the statement and further inform the world community in this regard.
The position of Azerbaijan at the international level and real international situation have been totally changed which enables justified resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict and withdrawal of Armenian invaders from our lands.
Ninety four years have passed since the 1918 March genocide. However, it is impossible to forget those atrocities committed by Armenian nationalists. International community, combating international terrorism, should finally give unbiased political and legal evaluation to the abuse committed against the Azerbaijani people, and the perpetrators should be punished according to the law.
We once more declare that this genocide act was accompanied with gross violation of human rights. We believe that world community and international organizations will support justified demands of Azerbaijan, this crime committed against humanity will be recognized as a genocide act soon and perpetrators will be punished.
Urging international organizations to support the fair position of Azerbaijan without double standards, I believe that, justice will be restored, relevant sanctions will be applied by the international institutions against Armenia, which assumed genocide as a state policy, as well as the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and grossly violated rights of refugees, IDPs will be restored, prisoners of war and hostages will be set free. I hope that influential international organizations, peace-will persons will join efforts for the restoration of peace and security in Azerbaijan.
Commissioner for Human Rights
(Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Statement is addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, United Nations Security Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Commission, Council of Europe, OSCE, International Ombudsman Institute, European Ombudsman Institute and Asian Ombudsman Association, International Peace Bureau, International Peace Federation, Ombudspersons of foreign countries, Embassies of Azerbaijan abroad, as well as the foreign Embassies in Azerbaijan, and organizations of Azerbaijani Diaspora.
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