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Mass grave uncovered in Edilli

Mass grave uncovered in Edilli

It was recently reported that a mass grave was uncovered in Edilli in the Khojavand district, which was controlled by Armenia in violation of four UN Security Council resolutions but became part of Azerbaijan after the Second Karabakh War.   According to various reports, 12 skeletons were found with their hands and feet bound, although 25 bodies were uncovered to date.  

Fuad Muradov, Chairman of the State Committee for Work with the Diaspora, stated on Twitter following this shocking discovery: “The requirements of Article 17 of the Geneva Convention dated August 12,1949 were grossly violated! In1993, 25 captured servicemen of the Azerbaijan Army, were brutally killed and mass buried in the territory of #Edilli village of #Khojavand district.”

Bullet holes found in the skulls indicated that they may have been executed by shooting.  Various media outlets have reported that almost 4,000 Azerbaijani citizens still remain missing, with the Armenians refusing to provide the locations of the mass graves to date.

Hikmat Hajiyev, Assistant of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, stated afterwards on Twitter: “ Edilli was used as concentration camp for Azerbaijani hostages by Armenia.”  Speaking to the Turkish media, Namiq Efendiyev, an official from Azerbaijan’s State Commission for Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, said that excavations have been ongoing in the region since February in an effort to find citizens who disappeared during the First Karabakh War which ended in 1994.

In a statement issued by the Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations, it was stated: “We stress that the discovery of such graves openly exposes the Armenian Armed Forces’ war crimes rooted in ethnic hatred, which, in gross violation of international law, international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of War Victims, are accompanied with torture and inhumane acts against Azerbaijani civilians, military personnel, especially the wounded and dead, demonstrates their inhumane behavior and genocide policy. A striking example of this is the numerous videos confirming the multiple facts of brutal killings of Azerbaijani POWs by the Armenian military during the First and Second Karabakh wars with close-range shots to the head and heart area, robbery and dismemberment of soldiers’ bodies, torture and humiliation through acts incompatible with humanity.”  

“We regret to state that along with baseless territorial claims against Azerbaijan, pursuing a policy of extreme hatred on racial, ethnic, religious grounds, instead of taking practical steps to stop the war crimes against our country and bring the perpetrators to justice for the past crimes, Armenia impedes security and the peace process in the region by instigating provocations that lead to confrontations between the two nations,” the statement added.  

According to the statement, “One must also not forget the important fact that the Armenian Armed Forces mined the territory of Azerbaijan, which they kept under occupation for 30 years, and that during the Second Karabakh War, they launched missile attacks on the Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Barda, Mingachevir, Goranboy and Tartar, located dozens of kilometers from the front line, killing more than 100 civilians. However, in defiance of the trilateral statements signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Russian Federation and the agreements reached in Brussels brokered by President of the European Council Charles Michel, official Yerevan has not yet shared with Azerbaijan the landmine maps and information about the fate of up to 4,000 Azerbaijanis who went missing during the First Karabakh War.”

The statement concluded: “Azerbaijanis of the world strongly assert that the international community must react adequately to these war crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice in order to prevent Armenia from committing similar criminal acts in the future. We demand that Armenia’s war crimes be stopped and call for urgent legal action to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes against peace.”

Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel’s Communication, Satellite and Cyber Minister under Netanyahu, condemned Armenia for slaughtering Azerbaijanis en masse in Edilli and to date refusing to hand over the location of the remaining mass grave locations: “The time has come for Armenia to make peace with Azerbaijan for the sake of regional security.   The first step towards making peace is to take the humanitarian gesture of handing over the location of the mass graves and to hand over all of the landmine maps.   Once that happens, both peoples can look forward to a brighter future.”



Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the editor of the Economic Peace Center, which was established by Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel's Communication, Cyber and Satellite Minister. For close to a decade, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.