What happened 26 years ago in the Artsakh village of Maragha was most succinctly described by Baroness Caroline Cox who visited the scene of the tragedy 2 days after it had happened: “It was modern Golgotha, only many times worse. Those who did this are not of the human race.”
There’s no point in describing the details of the massacre that is incomprehensible in terms of cruelty – we may just reiterate that out of the 120 people remaining in the village, about 50 were killed in the most atrocious ways and about 60 were taken hostage, including 9 children and one blind old man.
The Azerbaijani detachment “Gurtulush” acted in the best traditions of the askars, “bravely” dealing with defenseless old people, the sick, invalids, women, and children who were unable to leave the village.
The massacre in Maragha became another monstrous link in the chain of terrible crimes of Azerbaijan against the Armenian people with one significant difference – this crime was committed by independent Azerbaijan. In all other respects, the massacre completely fits into the logic of the genocidal policy inherited by Azerbaijan from Turkey.
Moreover, Maragha proved that this policy remains unchanged regardless of who is in power in Azerbaijan – whether communists, radicals, or liberals.
The crucifixion of Maragha also clearly demonstrated the fact that global oil interests were one of the most significant factors influencing development in the region – the village was located in the oil-bearing region of Mirbashir in close vicinity to a pipeline and an oil derrick.
The lack of military need for an attack and capture did not save the inhabitants of Maragha because a much more “important” cynical factor came into play – the area simply could not be allowed to remain under the control of the Armenians.
The result horrified those who entered the blood-drenched village after its liberation – it was, according to eyewitnesses, hell unleashed on earth.
It is noteworthy that in Azerbaijan, the topic of Maragha is preferred to be avoided, and the reason lies on the surface. For 30 years, they fantasized on the topic of “Sumgait” and invented all sorts of tales to accuse the KGB, Moscow, the one bastard whose surname ended with “yan”, foreign intelligence agencies, the Armenian lobby – anyone but not themselves – and annually raised fuss on the anniversary of “black January” in Baku, trying to “block” the truth about the bloody week of the Armenian Genocide with the events of January 20.
They are silent about Maragha because there is no one to blame for the deed. Independent Azerbaijan is solely responsible for the mass killings of civilians, the mass kidnapping of dozens of women, young children, and the elderly, their terrible torture and abuse in captivity, as well as the fate of those 19 hostages about whom there is still no information.
In this context, it remains only to be amazed that the Armenian side to this day has not compiled and has not submitted the legal package on Maragha to the relevant international authorities. Under the first and second presidents of Armenia, some unspoken order effectively forbade loud talk about the Armenian genocide that has been repeatedly committed by Azerbaijan in 1988-1992.
As a result, only a few knew about the crucifixion of Maragha even in Armenia.
And even having radically changed the policy in the information space in 2009, official Yerevan has only slightly intensified its activities in the diplomatic and legal fields and has continued to pursue an inexplicably soft and passive policy, still not bothering to properly present the facts, including facts on the crime against humanity organized by Baku and committed by the regular army unit in Maragha on April 10, 1992.
Meanwhile, they have everything necessary for the compilation and submission of the Maragha folder to international legal authorities – testimonies of dozens of eyewitnesses and victims, including those who returned from captivity; videos and photographs; and – perhaps the most valuable from the point of view of the world community – the testimony of Baroness Cox and her colleagues in “Christian Solidarity International”.
It has long been necessary to establish a group of experts and specialists in international law so that they compiled this folder on a professional level and presented it to the appropriate authorities – above all, to courts.
It is high time to put on the wanted list the commander of the Gurtulush detachment Shain Tagiyev who officially became the first national hero of Azerbaijan precisely for the capture of Maragha and the brutal massacre of fifty villagers. Today, this inhuman creature lives quietly in Sweden, and there can be no doubt that this country will not refuse to extradite him if asked properly.
All films produced as part of the “Ordinary Genocide” project end with the words that a Nuremberg trial of Azerbaijan is necessary for their repeatedly committed crimes against humanity. Especially given that Baku not only does not hide but constantly demonstrates its readiness to continue its genocidal policy.
Just two years ago, the Maragha tragedy repeated itself on a smaller scale in Talish. This time, the beasts in the form of the army of Azerbaijan laid their hands on “only” three elderly residents.
It is gratifying, of course, that the Armenian parliamentarians and politicians also began to use the idea of “Nuremberg”. However, it is time to move from words to active action.
The Maragha folder may be the first significant step to ensure that the Nuremberg trials over Azerbaijan finally become a reality. However, its preparation at the proper level requires certain financial and human resources.
As Larisa Alaverdyan, Executive Director of the Organization Against Legal Abuse, noted at a press conference on April 10, if state structures refrain from this for one reason or another, a public organization could start the process on its own, given financial support from the business structures of Armenia and Artsakh.
Կոտորած Մարահա գյուղում
MARAGHA МАРАГА ՄԱՐԱՂԱ (ENG version)