On May 28, 2012 London West Member of Parliament Ed Holder made a statement regarding the conflict in Nagorno Karabagh. Mr. Holder’s concern for the victims of this war is commendable and draws attention to this important human rights issue, but his statement also lacked context and contained a number of factual errors.
The Nagorno Karabagh conflict was preceded in 1988 by the slaughter of the Armenians in the Azeri cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad and the capital of Azerbaijan of Baku from which 250,000 Armenians were emptied as a result of ethnic cleansing. While the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Azerbaijan took full advantage of the lack of central power in Moscow and invaded with a powerful army the region of Karabagh.
Fighting erupted all over the region of Karabagh.Twenty years have passed since the alleged February 26 Khojaly massacres. Today, Baku tries to use these events to conceal the pogroms that took place in Sumgait, Kirovabad, Baku and later in Maragha.
It is hypocritical to remember selectively a small group of victims and intentionally target the considerable numbers of victims resulting from the same conflict. Furthermore, let us remind everyone that the then President Ayaz Mutalibov has accused the Azeri opposition for orchestrating the Khojaly incident to create the scenario for his resignation. During an interview to the Czech journalist Dana Mazalova of “Njvaya Gazeta” newspaper on April 2 1992, he stated that: “If I claim the Azerbaijani opposition to be guilty in it, they might say that I am telling lies about them. However, the generalbackground of arguments is, that a corridor by which the people could leave, was, nevertheless, left by Armenians. Why then would they begin to shoot? Especially in the territory nearby Aghdam where by that time there had been enough forces to help the people”
Dr. Girair Basmadjian, President of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, commenting on the actual situation regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh, stated: “Taking into consideration that today we have ample of documentation regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, proper actions should be taken so that the United Nations bring to the International Court of Justice the present day Azeri authorities as well as its predecessors for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes during and before the Karabagh war.”
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.