NKR MFA: Bloody events in Maragha were certainly a war crime

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic has issued a statement on the 21st anniversary of massacres in Maragha village.

“Azerbaijan՝s military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which became the continuation of Baku policy of violent crackdown on the expression of free will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, abounds with outrageous facts of crimes against the civilian population.

One of its most tragic episodes was the massacre of the population of the village of Maragha in Martakert region, NKR, committed by the units of the Azerbaijani army on April 10, 1992. The bloody events in Maragha were certainly a war crime, as the attack on the village was not driven by military necessity but aimed to annihilate its peaceful population.

On this day, after intensive artillery shelling the Azerbaijani armed units invaded the peaceful village and committed a ruthless reprisal over defenseless people. This fact was later confirmed by various human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. According to various sources from 53 to 100 people were killed, more than 60 people including 9 children and 29 women were taken hostages. More than 30 hostages were subsequently killed in Azerbaijani captivity. Two weeks later, the village was subjected to a renewed attack and its inhabitants who returned to bury their relatives yet again fell victim to the atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani army.

This hideous crime in Maragha became the next in the chain of the anti-Armenian pogroms and deportations in Northern Artsakh, as well as Sumgait, Baku, Kirovobad and other settlements of Azerbaijan, which aimed at intimidating people and depriving them of the opportunity to live on their native land.”

It was the lack of the adequate political and legal assessment of the international community of the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in Azerbaijan which paved a way for the war crime committed by the Azerbaijani army in the village of Maragha.

Impunity for those crimes has created a fertile ground for implanting the cult of zealous hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian and uncurbed propaganda of xenophobia, intolerance and militarism in Azerbaijan.

To break this vicious circle and prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies in the future, the massacre in Maragha should be condemned by the international community and its organizers and perpetrators punished.

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