Statement by the Foreign Ministry of Armenia on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Maragha massacre

10 April, 2019

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the crime committed by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Maragha village of Artsakh. During the several hours of control over the village the Azerbaijani army turned it into a slaughterhouse by subjecting to torture in the most cruel way and killing more than 50 civilians, as well as taking as many captive, mostly women, elderly, children and the disabled. Two weeks later, the Azerbaijani army once again established control over the village, this time completely destroying it. To date, Maragha remains under the occupation of the Azerbaijani armed forces, and most of the captives went missing.

The evidences of mass killing of the Maragha population have been confirmed by various international human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Moreover, the report of the Physicians for Human Rights issued on the results of interviews with those captured during the conflict clearly states that during the period from 1990 to 1996 the Azerbaijani authorities, as well as civilians were engaged in the institutionalized process of capturing and torturing Armenian children and elders.

In addition to the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait, Kirovabad and Baku, the crime against the people of Maragha was carried out by the armed forces of already independent Azerbaijan in the territory of Artsakh and the commander of the unit, which perpetrated the massacre, Tagiev Shahin Taliboglu, was officially declared the first national hero of Azerbaijan.

Systematic mass atrocities perpetrated against the civilian population of Artsakh, their impunity and glorification have become a part of Azerbaijan's consistent policy which was again employed  24 years after the Maragha massacre, during Azerbaijan April aggression against Artsakh.

Today, we pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Maragha massacre, while reiterating our determination to prevent the recurrence of such massacres and to ensure security and safety of the people of Artsakh in their homeland.

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