Our people have been subjected to severe privations and tortures as a result of ethnic cleansing and massacre policy committed against Azerbaijanis in purposeful form during last two centuries. Armenians have continuously accomplished these massacres, plunders, firing, terror and other brutal acts against our nation in XIX century and early XX century not only the place, which currently called “Armenia”, but also the uyezds (administrative divisions) of Baku province- Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Goychay, as well as in Karabakh, Zangezur, and Nakhchivan.
Such slaughters reached a mass scale in 1915-1920s, and generally massacres have been committed against Azerbaijanis in every region of present-day Armenia. Armenians killed as many as 30,000 people, as well as babies, with particular brutality in last three days of March 1918. The old city of Azerbaijan-Shamakhi was exposed to horrible plunder and barbarism. Thousands of citizens-8077 Azerbaijanis and 1277 children were murdered as a result of barbarism committed by Armenians throughout Shamakhi city and Shamakhi uyezd.
122 villages were burned by the Armenian Dashnak forces in the Guba uyezd and local people were murdered with brutal torture. During this massacre committed by Armenian nationalists, 36,782 people killed. Recovered bones belonging to the victims of this massacre committed by Armenians were found in a mass grave during archaeological excavations of Guba in 2007, providing further evidence. During the investigation more than 400 dead bodies have been uncovered in the cemetery. More than 50 are children and 100 amongst them are women.
During Soviet times it was repeatedly attempted to consolidate the historical land of the Republic of Azerbaijan -Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) into Armenia.
Anti-Azerbaijan propaganda has always been conducted in Armenia. As national discrimination, blackmail, and chauvinistic policy is conducted at official state level in Armenia, the “Armenian paranoia” which had showed itself periodically during various stages of history began once more at the end of XX century.
First, the Armenians committed brutal massacre against Azerbaijanis in Armenia, then our citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh, backed by the armed potential of Soviet Russia and pro-Armenian states in the West. After that, oppressing of Azerbaijanis living in Armenia and changing settlements’ names has been conducted in a parallel manner.
Though giving autonomy to Armenians living in Azerbaijan artificially, the rights of Azerbaijanis living in current Armenia have been grossly violated; their dignity has been degraded and outraged. As a result of the last Armenian ethnic cleansing policy implemented intentionally from 1988-1992, 250 thousand people, who lived historically in these lands, were forcibly expelled and came to Azerbaijan.
From the 1988, Azerbaijanis living in 126 settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is integral part of Azerbaijan, were severely expelled. Just this time one of the most horrific events of XX century occurred. Khojaly city, with the population of 6,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh was completely destroyed in only a day by the Armenian armed forces with the support of Soviet troops; 613 civilians severely, cruelly murdered, 150 people became missing. 1000 civilians became disabled, and 1,275 people, including the elderly, women, children were taken hostages and subjected to brutality and humiliation in that bloody tragedy.
On 20 January, 1990 Soviet armed forces stormed to Baku and other regions of the country to attack the civilians getting out on the streets to object to the violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. 147 civilians, as well as infants and adolescents were killed, 744 wounded, 841 imprisoned illegally as a result of punitive actions which were implemented with unprecedented brutality.
From the beginning of 1988 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories- Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts occupied as a result of military aggression by Armenian armed forces.
More than 1,000,000 people have been deprived from their ancestral lands in Western Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, and as a result became refugees and internally displaced people (IDP); currently these people have temporarily resettled in 62 cities and regions within Azerbaijan as a result of ethnic cleansing policy carried out by Armenia.
Furthermore, over the 100,000 of our compatriots who used to live in settlements of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Aghjabadi, Aghstafa, Tartar, Goranboy, Gadabay, Gazakh and Tovuz along the border with Armenia were forcefully displaced from their permanent settlements.
Currently, Azerbaijanis are still being killed almost every day along these frontline regions.
Despite the Agreement on Ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia, signed on March 12, 1994, registered facts on killings of children are frequently reported.
Two under-aged children were killed; one was wounded in Tovuz district (bordering Armenia) as a result of an explosion set off by a toy dropped into the river by Armenian side in 1994. This means that, Armenians do not hesitate even commit an act of terror against children.
On 8 March, 2011, as a result of a fire attack by Armenian snipers, Fariz Badalov, a boy at the age of 9, was killed in Orta Garvand village of Aghdam region. On 14 July, 2011, Aygun Shahmaliyeva (born in 1998) in Alibayli village of Tovuz region, bordering with Armenia, was killed as a result of explosion of bomb attached to a toy. This, once more informs us Armenian fascists’ inhuman attitude against the humanity. Still the killing of innocent people, children, and civilians by the Armenians proves it to be a terrorist state to the whole world.
According to data of the State Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People, 20,000 of Azerbaijanis were killed, 100,000 wounded, and 50,000(6231 children) received injuries of varying severity and became disabled as a result of Armenian military aggression during the Karabakh war between 1988 and 1992. During the conflict 4852 Azerbaijanis, including 54 children, 323 women, 410 elderly have become missing. 1368 people, including 169 children, 338 women and 286 elderly were released from captivity. However, 783 people, including 18 children, 46 women, 69 elderly are still remaining in Armenian captivity to date. 439 people died in captivity according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The problems and concerns of refugees and IDPs who have forcibly relocated have become the daily concern of our national leader Heydar Aliyev, as well as of Azerbaijan. It is a reality that the release of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan was great dream of Heydar Aliyev, who devoted his entire life to the people and state of Azerbaijan. He always worked on it, and paid great attention to the concerns of refugees and IDPs.
Heydar Aliyev has touched upon the issue related to Armenia-Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and has held over 200 meetings with Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) leaders, the Minsk Group co-chairs, as well as 500 meetings with the heads of 80 states, and events for international and local bodies. He has identified it “issue number one” in the country after his return to power at the request of the people. The essence of Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been delivered to the international community by the diplomacy of our national leader.
The United Nations (UN) Security Council has adopted four resolutions on a political solution of the conflict, demanding immediate release of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and return of refugee and IDPs to their former homes.
Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan was officially recognized with the Resolution 1416(2005) adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Armenia was recognized as an aggressor country with the resolution passed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The work to improve the living conditions of refugees and IDPs once more indicates that, our compatriots in this category are always surrounded by the constant care and attention of the President of Azerbaijan H.E. Ilham Aliyev. As a result of the special attention of the state, the refugees and IDPs have been moved from camps to new settlements constructed on high standards.
The protection of children is regulated by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law. According to the Convention, States and Parties undertake the responsibility to respect children and to ensure the respect of rules of international humanitarian law applicable to the child in armed conflicts. Therefore, though Armenia has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it must be condemned by the international community and UN member states for committing violent actions against children.
The State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs has come to conclusion to prepare and print the book titled “Children are Innocent Victims of War” aimed at delivering existing facts and information to the global community, as well as, informing the world community about Armenian barbarism and crimes against our people and under-aged children.
The book has been prepared based on real facts and official information about children, who have been massacred, missed, deprived of their parents, and disabled as a result of war. (Some documents and pictures may not be displayed in the book as they were lost during the war as a result of the destruction of district and private archives by Armenian invaders.) Memories of the eye-witnesses of Armenian savagery have been preserved in the book as well.