Azerbaijan`s Ombudsman issues statement on 31 March - Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis
The purposeful massacre, ethnic cleansing and deportation policy of Armenian nationalists and their supporters against the Azerbaijanis lasted more than two centuries were aimed at banishing the Azerbaijanis from their historical native lands and establishing "Great Armenia" State.
Since the beginning of XIX century thousands of the Armenian families had been moved to historical Azerbaijani lands such as Iravan province, Nakhchivan, Karabakh, Zangazur and other regions from Iran and Turkey. Since 1988, due to Armenian aggression policy against Azerbaijan, 20 percent of territories of the country, including Nagorno Karabakh and seven surrounding districts were occupied; hundred thousands of our people became refugees and IDPs.
The most horrible tragedies on March 31, 1918 committed by Armenians are the genocide acts against Azerbaijanis. The bloody events committed by Armenian-bolshevik forces in Baku gained mass scale on March 31 and April 1-2 and armed Armenian groups killed civilians mercilessly. During those massacres, hundred thousands of our compatriots in the whole territory of Azerbaijan, including 30 000 persons in Baku and in surrounding villages were brutally murdered on the ground of nationality, mosques and schools were burned. During March slaughters Armenians fired at and destroyed many old buildings, including Juma and Thazapir mosques, also Ismailyya building which is considered one of pearls of the world architecture.During March events, 75 villages in Shamakhi and 115 villages in Zangezur provinces were completely destroyed and all property of peaceful Muslim population was looted. Only in Guba province the Armenian armed groups burned 122 villages, killed 60 men, women and children and injured 53 persons. In general, in that period about 700 people were massacred in the whole Azerbaijani territory.
Within last period, there were recently found evidences ascertained mass slaughter committed by Armenians during March events in 1918 in Guba province. Innumerable found human bones are visual evidences of the Armenian vandalism. There was created "Massacre Memorial Complex" as a respect to the memory of those persons killed there in the period of March incidents. The recently opened Memorial Genocide Museum at the Azerbaijan Republic Military Prosecutor’s Office also plays significant role in informing the international community about historical truths of the country,including massacres and manslaughters committed by the Armenian nationalists against our people. Under the international law, as a grave international crime, genocide is included to such group of crimes as aggression against the international peace and security, crime against humanity, war crimes and international terrorism. The legal definition of the crime of genocide was found in the Convention "on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 260 (III) dated 9 December 1948. As it is enumerated 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 an element of the 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 legal perspective.
The events evidenced that Armenian nationalists did not give up their notorious purposes, massacred civilians by cruel methods and falsified the history converting facts to their own use to curtain the crime committed. The occupied Nagorny Karabakh and surrounding provinces are the integral part of Azerbaijan. Although, the UN Security Council adopted four Resolutions on territorial integrity and unconditional liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the UNGA adopted the Resolution titled "the Situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" of March 14, 2008, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a Resolution No. 1416 and a Recommendation No. 1690 confirming the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian armed forces and governing the Nagorno-Karabakh by separatists, Armenia still refuses to fulfill the requirements of these documents. However, in these Resolutions, Armenia was recognized as an aggressor and was demanded to withdraw its military forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and to create possibilities for one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to return to their native lands.
The Decree signed by the National Leader of Azerbaijan Haydar Aliyev on “Genocide against Azerbaijanis" dated 26 March 1998, provided political recognition to these events and for the first time officially declared the fact of the genocide against Azerbaijanis committed by Armenians. So, every year 31 March is commemorated as the date of genocide against the Azerbaijanis at the state level. Generally, the Azerbaijani side tries for peaceful solution to the conflict. The country President Ilham Aliyev repeatedly declared that we would achieve the restoration of our territorial integrity.
The world community provides more support for the just position of Azerbaijan and it is interested in peaceful settlement to this conflict within the international legal norms. EU has repeatedly declared its will to actively participate in solution of Nagorny Karabakh conflict and to establish trust between the parties to the conflict. This should be noted that in 2012, the US New York State Senate and in 2013, New Jersey General Assembly passed Resolutions recognizing the 31 March genocide of Azerbaijanis.We once more declare this act of genocide has not been yet given legal assessment at the international level. While requesting to the world community and international organizations, we believe that long-lasting Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, mass human rights violations will be ended and this conflict will be solved by peaceful and reconciliation means.
We urge international organizations to support the just position of Azerbaijan without double standards and believe that justice will be restored, this violent crime committed against humanity will be given international legal assessment as an act of genocide, the perpetrators will be punished, imposing sanctions on Armenia by the corresponding international organizations, restoration the territorial integrity of the country and grossly violated rights of hundred thousands of refugees and IDPs. We hope international organizations; peacemakers will join efforts for the restoration of peace and security in Azerbaijan.