UC Berkeley learns truth about Khojaly Genocide
An event honoring the victims of the Khojaly Genocide was held on February 19, 2015 at the University of California, Berkeley, which is one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Held at the initiative and with the support of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, the event was organized by the Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California. The event was attended by students and professors of the University, as well as by diaspora activists.
The floor was first given to the U.S. correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency (AzerTAG) Mr Yusif Babanly. In his remarks, Mr Babanly informed the audience about the historical background of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, which started on the eve of the Soviet Union’s collapse and expanded into a full-scale war after 1991. Highlighting the illegal military occupation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory by Armenia, Mr Babanly noted that the occupation was accompanied by brutal ethnic cleansing and large-scale massacres and atrocities against Azerbaijani civilians. In this regard, he mentioned the atrocities against the Azerbaijani residents of villages Malibayli, Gushchular and Garadagli, which all were occupied before Khojaly. Informing the attendees about the Khojaly Genocide, Mr Babanly noted that by committing this cruel crime against humanity Armenia intended to cause intimidation among civilians of other Azerbaijani regions, yet to be invaded, and complete the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory.
Speaking afterward, the eyewitness of the Khojaly Genocide Mr Anar Usubov, who was 8 years old during the massacre, informed the event participants about the situation in Khojaly before the genocide, and about how its Azerbaijani residents were brutally killed by Armenians, as they tried to flee the town for safety. Noting that around 20 family members and relatives of his were either killed or went missing, Mr Usubov mentioned that the survivors of the tragedy still remain heavily traumatized and some of them even committed suicide not being able to overcome the trauma.
A photo exhibition and film reflecting the Khojaly Genocide were presented to the audience at the event.
On February 26, 1992, the Armenian army attacked the town of Khojaly in Azerbaijan and committed a massacre against Azerbaijani civilians. 613 Azerbaijanis, including 83 children, 106 women and 70 elderly people, were brutally killed.