Commemorative event held in Rome's Santa Maria della Mercede Church on the 32nd Anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide

A ceremony commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the Khojaly genocide was organized in the "Santa Maria della Mercede" church in Rome, with the participation of representatives from the Vatican, Italy, diplomatic corps leaders, and Azerbaijanis living and studying in the country.

The event began with prayers for the victims of the Khojaly genocide and those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for our country's territorial integrity, SIA reports.

Azerbaijan's Ambassador to the Holy See, Ilgar Muxtarov, stated that the Khojaly genocide is a blatant example of ethnic cleansing policy by Armenians against Azerbaijanis. He emphasized that the Khojaly genocide is considered one of the bloodiest tragedies of the 20th century, where Armenian armed forces attacked the town of Khojaly, committing a bloody massacre against the population by violating international norms. Innocent people, specifically Azerbaijanis, were ruthlessly killed, and mass atrocities were committed. The European Court of Human Rights, in its decision on April 22, 2010, recognized the events in Khojaly as a massacre of the civilian population.

The ambassador also spoke about the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign and the steps taken in the dissemination of the truth about the genocide. He highlighted the recognition of the Khojaly genocide by various international organizations and parliamentary bodies, pointing out Armenia's responsibility.

Rashad Aslanov, Azerbaijan's ambassador to Italy, described the Khojaly massacre as the most heinous military crime in the Karabakh War and one of the most terrifying massacres in modern European history. He emphasized that the Khojaly genocide, one of the most brutal acts of ethnic violence against peaceful civilians in the late 20th century, resulted in the merciless killing of 613 people overnight, including 63 children.

The ambassador noted that various countries and parliaments have condemned the Khojaly tragedy and adopted resolutions recognizing it as a genocide.

It was emphasized that this year, for the first time, the memory of Khojaly genocide victims is honored throughout Azerbaijan, and after 32 years, the Azerbaijani flag is waving in Khojaly. The country is implementing extensive reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in all liberated territories, including Khojaly. Like residents of other regions, the people of Khojaly will soon return to their homeland.

The ambassador expressed belief that justice will prevail for Khojaly one day and emphasized the necessity of international public support for justice in Khojaly to prevent such grave crimes from happening again in the future.

As part of the event, the "Orchestra dell'Accademia Sannita" from Italy performed classical music pieces, including Azerbaijani songs.

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