Azerbaijanis misrepresent Khojalu events ‘through Gencocide-era photos’ at Iranian exhibition
The Iranian media have caught the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran read-handed at fabricating the facts behind the so-called Khojalu massacres.
At an exhibition dedicated to the 27th anniversary of the tragic events, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran showcased also a photo featuring an episode from the Armenian Genocide. What caught attention was the fact that the picture portrayed a woman dying in a desert, whereas the media reports truly note that Khojalu, currently a village in Nagorno-Karabakh’s (Artsakh) Askeran region (current name: Ivanyan), is situated in a semi-mountainous zone.
The Iran-based Armenian weekly Arax has reacted to the misinformation campaign, condemning the misrepresentation of facts as a disgraceful act.
The scandal was spotted by the news website Azariha which posted certain photos as blatant evidence of an attempted propaganda of lie.
“The Embassy of the Baku Republic in Tehran [the Iranian site has intentionally chosen the wording in an attempt to avoid using Azerbaijan] held a photo exhibition dedicated to the catastrophe in the village of Khojalu, where an estimated 600 villagers died shortly after President] “Ayaz Mutalibov” acceded to power in the period of the Nagorno-Karabakh war. Ove the recent years, Turkey and Baku have been exaggerating the Khojalu tragedy in an effort to make it look tantamount to the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire,” reads the report.
Mutalibov, who was at the helm of state in Azerbaijan from August 1991 until March 1992, had stated in one of his interviews that the Khojalu residents themselves had confirmed that those events “were masterminded by my opnenents in an effort to stage a coup” in the country.
”That’s to say, certain forces in Azerbaijan were intentionally desecrating the Khojalu residents’ dead bodies lying on the roadway leading to Aghdam to later use them for political reasons,” he is quoted as saying.
In the article entitled The Lying Shepherd, the Azerbaijani website fully uncovers the fabricated story.
”Why do the Baku authorities lie time and again when it comes to historical facts? Where does this kind of thirst and mania for lie spring from? While the neighboring countries’ patience is wearing thin amid Baku’s lies and historical fabrications, that country’s population gains the reputation of a world-famous nation. The reason is that the country calling itself Azerbaijan was from the very outset founded on ‘lie and theft’. A country whose name is even stolen [allusion to the Iranian province of Azerbaijan] has no other choice but to lie and misrepresent history. As to the Khojalu tragedy, despite the innocent victims, many quiestions still remain open. The fact remains that Ayaz Mutalibov, the president of Baku at the time, did not absolutely blame the Armneian forces; he blamed his own country’s military and the group of servicemen who were attempting to overthrow the government. Also, Minister of Defense Rahim Ghaziev confirmed that the military authorities of Baku intentioanlly put the residents of Khojalu under the adversary’s target to later use the fact [as a trumpcard] for overthrowing [Abulfaz] Elchibey [Mutalibov’s successor].”
The Iranian website notes that the bodies of the
deceased residents of Khojalu were found not on the territory of that
village but rather – in a remote area controlled by Azerbaijani armed
The website also cites Canadian historian Patrick Wilson Gore’s records saying that the operation, “carried out at late night hours”, made it ”absolutely difficult” for Armenian forces to distinguish armed troops from unarmed civilians to avoid mishaps. In subsequent interviews, Mutalibov himself elaborated on the tragic events to shed light upon the dark corners. Particularly, in comments to the Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the former Azerbaijani leader admitted that the Armenians had left two corridors to allow civilians to escape from the village. He insisted on the Azerbaijani opposition’s responsibility for the tragic outcome. ”The fact remains that the Armenians had left two corridors for escape. So why should they have opened fire at all? Especially in light of the multi-member military forces who could practically help people. Or even they could have made the necessary arrangements with the adversary to organize the safe departure of civilians. That has always been the usual practice,” he said.