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Report of «Memorial» Human Rights Watch Center

  


Since autumn of 1991 Khojaly has been practically blocked by Armenian armed formations and after withdrawal of internal troops from Nagorno-Karabakh, full blockade of Khojaly was imposed.
Beginning from January, 1992 electrical energy supply to Khojaly was stopped. Part of inhabitants left blocked city, however, despite insistent requests of head of executive power of Khojaly city total evacuation of peaceful population was not organized.
On February, 25 Armenian armed formations began assault of Khojaly.

Participants of assault
Units of Artsakh National Liberation Army participated in the assault using armored equipment -armored troop-carriers, combat infantry cars and tanks. Regarding participation of armed men of 366th regiment of the Soviet Army referring to sayings of Khojaly refugees they took part in assault and even some of them entered the town.

Conditions of detaining of captive civilians and Khojaly defenders
Head of temporary isolator major Khachaturian even did not allow to talk with them alone for a moment. Just accidentally one conversation took place.

Course of assault
Artillery firing of Khojaly began about 11 p.m. on February 25. Barracks located in housing estate and
outposts were destroyed first of all. Entering of infantry units into the city took place from 1 a.m. till 4 a.m.
in the morning on February 26. The last resistance was broken by 7 a.m. in the morning. As a result of firing of the city unidentified number of property was destroyed in the territory of Khojaly during the assault.

The "free corridor" for population leaving
60 people fled from Khojaly during the city assault were questioned by "Memorial" observers in Aghdam and Baku. Only one man of all questioned people said that he knew about existence of "free
corridor". The people leaving along the "free corridor" were fired on the territory adjoined to Aghdam region of Azerbaijan that resulted in death of many people.

Fate of the inhabitants who stayed in the city
After the occupation of the city by Armenian armed formations about 300 peaceful inhabitants including 86 Turks-Meskhets were in the city.  According to information received from both sides over 700 captive inhabitants of Khojaly took as hostages in the city and on the way to Aghdam were passed to Azerbaijani side by March 23, 1992. Among them were mainly women and children.

Fate of property of Khojaly inhabitants
Inhabitants of Khojaly who could flee had no possibility to take with them even the most necessary part of their property. The inhabitants who were driven out by Armenian armed formations also could not take the part of their property.
Observers from "Memorial" Human Rights Watch Center became witnesses of active unlimited marauding in the occupied city. The property left by Khojaly inhabitants were taken out from the city by inhabitants
of Khankendi (Stepanakert) and neighboring settlements. The names of new owners were written on the gates of the most of houses.

Estimation of information available  
Mass violence against peaceful population of Khojaly city took place during implementation of military operation on the occupation of the city. The majority of Khojaly inhabitants were not informed about existence of the "free corridor". Mass murders of peaceful inhabitants in the zone of the "free corridor" and adjacent territory can not be justified by any circumstances. Servicemen of infantry regiment No 366 of the Commonwealth of Independent States’ troops have participated in Khojaly assault. "Memorial" Human Rights Watch Center confirms that actions of Armenian armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh against peaceful inhabitants of Khojaly during the assault of Khojaly city roughly violate Geneva conventions as well as the following articles of Human Rights Declaration (adopted by UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948):
Article 2. "Every person must have all rights and all freedoms, declared by this declaration without any distinction of language, religion, national origin, or any other reasons";
Article 3.  Every person is entitled to life, freedom and personal immunity;
Article 5.   Brutal, inhuman or humiliate treatment of person is forbidden;
Article 9. Arbitrary arrests, detention or expatriation is forbidden;
Article 17. Every person is entitled to have property and deprive arbitrary the
person of his property is forbidden. 
Actions of armed formations roughly violated Declaration on protection of women and children in
emergency cases and during armed conflicts (declared by UN General Assembly on December 14, 1974)".



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