Caucasian Muslim Board (CMB) adopted an appeal to the world's religious leaders, parliaments, international organizations, and the European Court of Human Rights, urging them to recognize the Khojaly genocide.
The appeal was made public at an event dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of the Khojaly genocide held at CMB on February 18.
"Expressing the will and feelings of millions of Azerbaijanis on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the genocide committed in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, we appeal to the world community and all the people of good will, regardless of their religion, language, race, and ethnicity," CMB chairman Alahshukur Pashazade said. "We believe that no nation or religion can justify such crimes as violence, murder, aggression that is contrary to universal values."
In 1992, the town of Khojaly, the second largest town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, came under intense fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by the Armenian armed forces.
613 civilians including 106 women, 70 elderly, and 83 children were killed in the massacre, and a total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both their parents, and 130 children lost one parent.
Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, and the fate of 150 of them remains unknown. Civilians were shot at close range, scalped, and burned alive. Some had their eyes gouged out and others were beheaded.
"Armenian extremists, committing ethnic cleansing and physical and moral acts of terror against the Azerbaijanis from time to time, have occupied 20 percent of our territories, displaced more than one million Azerbaijanis from their lands, carried out acts of vandalism in the Karabakh territory, and destroyed our historical, religious, and cultural sites. Unfortunately, they haven't been punished for the crimes they have committed and are ignoring four resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The culmination of all these crimes was a purposeful genocide committed in Khojaly," the document said.
It notes that despite Azerbaijan's numerous appeals, the Khojaly genocide has not received proper political and legal assessment or become the object of international condemnation.
However, the document continues, the recognition of the Khojaly genocide by some countries and several international organizations is encouraging, because it shows that the international community will not remain indifferent to the voices of the Azerbaijani people who have been subjected to aggression and genocide.
"We hope that the 'Justice for Khojaly' campaign will also play a positive role in promoting the truth about Azerbaijan, revealing the true face of the aggressors, and restore historical justice," the document says.
Speaking at the event, Head of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Elshad Isgandarov said the Khojaly genocide was committed by the Armenians in order to break the spirit of the Azerbaijani people.
"The tragedy has left an indelible mark in the memory of each of us," he said.
Isgandarov noted that raising Azerbaijan's fair voice and giving information about the Khojaly genocide to the world community is a national issue.
"The foundations of this activity were laid by our great leader Heydar Aliyev, and this issue has a special place in the activities of President Ilham Aliyev. This issue was also raised at a different platform in the world by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva," he said.
He also noted that thanks to the 'Justice for Khojaly' campaign, many countries and organizations have recognized Khojaly tragedy as genocide.
Isgandarov called on every compatriot to try their best to let the world hear Azerbaijan's fair voice.