What really happened in Khojali?

Twitter today is full of accusations against Armenians for what happened in Khojali. There are cries to stop Armenian aggression, to bring justice for the innocents, to stop Armenian terrorism, etc. The tweets call these events genocide, the greatest tragedy of the 21st century, most horrendous crimes against humanity. The sheer propaganda spread through these words of hate is astounding. However, amidst all this propaganda, the truth has been buried somewhere beneath the lies the government only strengthens year by year, feeding the new generations nothing but falsified history.

I cannot propose that I know exactly what occurred that day. I know there was bloodshed, I know innocents died. I also know that nowhere in the history of Armenians nor at any other time within the war, were there such barbaric acts as those portrayed by the Azeris to have occurred at the hands of invading Armenians. Turks nailed us to crosses, not the other way around, during the Armenian genocide. The idea that in itself is completely repulsive to our people. Armenians have never been bloodthirsty zealots when it came to their faith, especially when considering the massacre of a people of a different one. It was the Catholics in Europe who were known to kill, torture and rob those who dissented by calling them heretics. Armenians, forever called “giavours” by Turks, would never inflict on another what they have felt on their own skin so painfully. Furthermore, the idea of skinning people alive is beyond disgusting and serves no purpose. Even the most disturbingly hate-filled Armenians speak of merely killing the Turkic people (Azeris always get lumped in as Turks), never about torture, let alone skinning people alive. The Azeri propaganda has made Hannibal-like monsters out of a peace loving nation. Quite absurd if you think about it.

Now, I agree that innocents died. However, how those events went down, is another story all together. I’ve been trying to piece together the truth for years at this point. I’m appalled at the use the innocents’ names and images for such an ugly program. If those people could see how they are being abused by their own people today, they would demand justice not from the Armenians, but from their own nation. It’s a sacrilege that should never be allowed.

When I first heard about Khojali, I was stunned. I immediately rand to my computer and started searching. Back then, which was 3-4 years ago, there were barely any sites by Azerbaijan proclaiming about the massacre. There was a single Times magazine article that stated Azerbaijan was commemorating the alleged massacre by Armenians that could have taken anywhere from 30 to 160 lives. I remember that so clearly today. However, I came across many blogposts, though everything was very toned down and it was a lot more believable then that a tragedy had occurred and innocents suffered for it. I was curious to understand more however, and for years have gone back to searching for first person accounts, documents by law, neutral newspaper articles, etc. Funny thing is that I could not find much in this sense until this year. This year, it seems Google has been bought by Azerbaijan. Every listing is by an Azeri website. Most call what happened a genocide. The funniest part is that they seem to have no clue what the meaning of genocide really is.

Furthermore, I came across a few different pieces that established the fact that what is claimed is intensely falsified. Mountains are made out of molehills and the true events are shrouded in mist.

According to M. Safaroghli, an Azerbaijani journalist, “Khojalu (Khojaly) was located in an important strategic position. Losing control over Khojalu (Khojaly) would mean a political fiasco for Moutalibov”. (Newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”-“Independent Newspaper”- February, 1993). With Shushi and Aghdam, Khojalu (Khojaly)  was one of the key bases from where Stepanakert, the capital of NKR, was continuously bombed during three winter months – shelled steadily and mercilessly, with the use of artillery, antihail rocket systems and war missile emplacements. For the first time the Azeri side was notified about the forthcoming attack by TV nearly two months before the operation. Arif Yunusov, a well-known champion of human rights in Azerbiajan, wrote about that in “Izvestia”. The officials in Baku did not try to hide their awareness, including Ayaz Moutalibov, the president of Azerbaijan. He stressed that “… the offense on Khojalu (Khojaly) was not a surprise” (“Ogoniok” (Fire) Magazine, N 14-15, 1992). In the interview to the “Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper he stated that “the corridor by which people could leave was reserved by Armenians” (“Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper, April 2, 1992). In his interview to the “Novoe Vremya” journal Moutalibov confirmed his statement: “It was obvious shooting the (Khojaly) people was organized by somebody for removing the power in Azerbaijan” (“Novoe Vremya” journal, March 6, 2001).  As the result of these warnings most of the peaceful people of Khojalu (Khojaly) moved to safe zones.

By the beginning of the assault part of the civilian population of Khojalu (Khojaly) left the settlement, and by the end of February 1992, according to various sources, some 1000 to 2500 people still remained there, mostly peaceful civilians and soldiers of Azerbaijani armed formations. On February 15 the Armenian side made an ultimatum: the civilian population of Khojalu (Khojaly) was offered to leave with a white flag. (Helsinki Watch, op. cit., 1994, p. 20). The Azeri side was timely informed about the opened corridor which allowed evacuating the people of Khojalu (Khojaly). Elman Mamedov, the mayor of Khojalu (Khojaly): “We knew the corridor was left for the exit of the peaceful people” (“Russkaya Misl” 03.03.1992, citation from “Bakinskie Rabochiy” newspaper).

Tamerlan Karayev, the former Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan testifies: “The tragedy was perpetrated by the Azeri authorities”, in particular, “some of the top officials” (“Moukhtalifat” Newspaper, April 28, 1992). Yana Mazalova, a Czech journalist, who, because of the oversight of the Azeris, was included in both of the groups of journalists who visited the place of the events on the first day and several days later, noticed the stunning difference how the bodies looked at the first and second site visits. When Mazalova visited the site immediately after the events she saw the bodies did not bear any traces of brutality whereas a couple of days later the bodies “adulterated” by the Armenians and “ready” for the cameras were demonstrated to the journalists.

Chingiz Moustafayev (Fuat-oghli), an independent Azeri TV journalist and cameraman who filmed the after-effect on February 28 and March 2, 1992, doubted the official version of Azerbaijan and began his own investigation. His life was the price for his very first report to the Moscow News Agency “DR-Press” about the possible involvement of the Azeri side in the crime: he was killed not far from Aghdam, and the details of the murder still remain not revealed. Thomas de Vaal, in his book “The Black Garden”, mentions the fact that Chingiz Mustafaev, whose video sequences are spread around and are the basis of the “video-proofs”, photographed the scene of the events twice: at the night of 25-26 and on the 27th of February, in 1992. And he was deeply surprised to find out that on the second day the dead bodies turned out to be disfigured.

In the forum Atc.Az, Eynulla Fatullaev, at present serving her sentence in prison for giving such interpretation of the events near Aghdam-city which was somewhat different from the official one, and quite definitely stated that the dead bodies had been disfigured by the Azerbaijani themselves.

For the falsification and forgeries of the images: http://www.xocali.net/EN/h13.html

For more accounts pointing to the truth: http://www.xocali.net/EN/index.html

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