By Ramil Ismailov – Orhan Eren
Published: Sunday 27, 2005
Victims of the Hocali massacre, committed by Armenian soldiers against civilians people on February 29th in 1992 in Upper Karabagh, have been commemorated in nation-wide ceremonies.
Ambassadors and diplomats from different countries attended a commemoration ceremony held in the central office of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party. Survivors of the massacre explained what they witnessed during the massacre, which led to emotional moments among the foreign mission chiefs.
Azerbaijani Presidential Undersecretary Hidayet Orucov organized a press briefing for the commemoration ceremonies and said: “The Hocali massacre is the heaviest genocide of the 20th century and those responsible will be judged by history when the proper time comes.” Turkey’s Embassy in Baku released a message expressing that the Turkish nation shares its brothers’ pain with the deepest feelings. While Turkish, Iranian, Iraqi, Egyptian, Indian, Kazakh, Ukrainian and Uzbek ambassadors attended the commemoration program for “Hocali massacre”, ambassadors of countries like the US, France, Italy, and Norway did not.
The city of Hocali in Upper Karabagh, which is still under Armenian occupation, was seized by Armenian armed forces and Russian troops based in the region on February 25th 1992. About 2,500 civilians, the majority of which are women, children and elderly, were bombarded for a long time before military forces seized the city. People of the city, which was largely burnt down, had fled the city to go to Agdam, the only open direction allowed by the occupying powers, but after a short while, it was reported that this way was blocked, too, and those who had started to flee were ambushed. A total of 613 Azerbaijanis, including 106 women and 63 children, were massacred by Armenian and Russian forces in addition to earlier attacks in Hocali. Armenian forces occupied the city had captured 1,275 people and 150 were reported as missing.