Eye witnesses report

Elshad Allahverdi Agayev:
After the seizure of Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 I had to leave the town with my family. But during the skirmish we lost each other. Later I began to look for them but could find only my sister Durdana wounded in her leg in the place called Garagaya in the Aghdam district.

On 26 February 1992, at about 8.00-9.00 a.m., the Armenians opened fire, and we tried to escape and hide in the trench towards Garagaya along with 5-6 men, but were surrounded and captured. Abusing and beating us with the barrels of machine guns, pieces of wood and iron they forced us to walk by foot to the highway in Askeran. The Armenians were throwing stones, pieces of wood and shooting over our heads. They were beating and torturing me and my sister Durdana for about thirty minutes, and after that they brought us to the isolator of the Askeran Police Department and threw to the cell full of people. Here they tortured us more cruelly. Tortures were led by Karo, an Armenian who was the head of the Fire Prevention Division at that Department. Karo with the other Armenians in military uniform were beating people in the cells with batons, barrels of machine guns, pieces of wood and iron, dragging women by hair to the corridors, raping and then throwing to separate cells.

On 26 February 1992, at about 12.00-13.00 a.m., 7-8 drunk Armenians in military uniform entered the cell and began to beat Zulfi, Elkhan, Nasib, Khagani and 30-40 inhabitants of Khojaly and the Garadagli village, whose names I can’t remember now. One Armenian hit my mouth with the barrel of AKM machine gun and torn my upper lip. I have a scar left as a result of that injury. The inhabitant of Khojaly, tractor driver Huseyn, went mad after being beaten by the Armenians, he was laughing all the time and that’s why they killed him there. When the Armenians found out that the other inhabitant of Khojaly Elkhan was “Alazan” rifleman, they cut his belly with a knife and took him somewhere. Later we heard that Elkhan had died from the received injuries. They took young boy Khagani somewhere, and we haven’t heard anything about him since then. They took machine-gunner Natig somewhere too.

I remember that on 27 February 1992 I was brought to the cell of that Department. Here the Armenians, following Karo’s instructions, undressed people and began to beat them with pieces of iron until they lost consciousness. That night they were beating me too, but before they started I saw that they had brought into the cell a young boy Mobil who had worked at the bread shop in Khojaly. Karo wounded Mobil’s leg from the fire-arm and he fell down. Then they began to beat him. I don’t know what happened to him later. I think they killed him.

The Armenians by pincers tore the beard from the one side of Ilgar’s face, leaving the other hairy, and then began to mock and abuse him. Following Karo’s instructions, they did not give us bread and water.

On 1 March 1992 Karo shot Shahmali’s son Faiq in the yard of that Police Department for not naming Ganja as “Kirovabad”. I didn’t see it by myself, but I learnt that from the inhabitants of Khojaly whose names I can’t remember now. I heard Faiq’s screams while Karo and his assistants were torturing him in the adjacent cell. He was a very brave man. He abused the Armenians for their cruelty, and they began to torture him more severely.
In March 1992 they put me, my sister Durdana and two 12-13- years-old girls from Khojaly, whom I did not know, in UAZ car and brought us to the Azerbaijan side.

Yashar Shahmali Alimammadov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, after the seizure of Khojaly, I had to leave the town with my wife Saida, six-years-old son Siraj, my father Shahmali, my cousin Saadat and other relatives. On 27 February 1992, at about 10.00-11.00 a.m., an armed Armenians surrounded and captured us near the Pirjamal village. They put sacks on our heads and brought somewhere in a car. When they took sacks away we found ourselves in the stable where cattle, donkeys and sheep were kept. There I saw about 200-300 inhabitants of Khojaly, including women and elderly, as well as my son, my father-in-law Jamil, my brother Faiq and the others. Then they brought my brother Namiq. The Armenians took money, gold, jewelry and other valuable things away from people, put them in a big pot and said that for them they would buy weapons and kill Azerbaijanis.

That day, at 16:00 p.m., about 20 bearded men in both civil and military uniforms entered the stable with pieces of reinforcing steel, wood and machine guns, divided us into several groups and began to beat cruelly by hitting our heads, backs and legs. They were pushing people one to another. There were people with broken ribs, teeth and injured heads. By pincers they also pulled out golden teeth. They hit me in my nose with a barrel of machine gun and broke it. I lost consciousness because of pain and, after coming to senses, could not see for a while. After beating us cruelly and threatening with the fire-arms, they made us stand on one foot for hours and eat soil and cattle dung.

On 1 March 1992 they brought us to the Askeran Police Department where we were met by police officer Karo who had worked there as the head of the Fire Prevention Division. Karo told me that I would die. They gathered us in the temporary cell and began to search us. Karo ordered me, Isa and Elkhan to stay in the cell and sent the others out. When my son started to cry wishing to stay with me, he cruelly beat him. He knocked me down by blowing with a barrel of pistol and ordered about 10-12 bearded Armenians to beat me with a baton. I lost consciousness because of these blows. When I came to senses, Elkhan told me that they had been blowing me with a baton for more than 50 times, and even when I had lost consciousness. Early in the morning on 2 March 1992 they released us.

After returning from captivity, I heard from Khojaly inhabitants Valeh, my uncle Mammad, Jamil, Janan (now dead), Ilgar, Ilham (now dead), Durdana (she worked as the telephone operator at the Khojaly post office), and his brother Elshad, who were taken hostage at the Askeran Police Department, what had happened with Faiq. Thus, according to them, Karo asked my brother Faiq where he had studied. After he answered “in Ganja”, Karo ordered to name it “Kirovabad”, but Faiq again repeated “Ganja”. Then Karo asked Faiq: “To whom does Karabakh belong?”, and Faig answered: “Karabakh belongs to us”. After that Karo took his gun out and shot at his chest and throat in the yard of the Police Department and thus killed him.

At present I am the second group invalid because of the injuries received in the captivity.

Zulfu Ibrahim Mammadov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians surrounded and shelled Khojaly town. With my family we tried to break out of the encirclement, but the Armenians captured us and put into the cell. There were more than 25 of my countrymen. The Armenians tortured and beat us every day; some of us were killed, shot and beheaded. I remember the following:

1. Fakhraddin Bahadir Salimov, born in 1960 - one Armenian killed him hitting his head with a barrel of machine gun.

2. Elkhan Nasib, born in 1962 - the Armenians took him from the cell and shot.

3. Mobil, born in 1968 - the Armenians killed him cruelly by kicking and beating with batons and barrels of machine gun.

4. 55-years-old Huseyn (his mother’s name was Marish) - the Armenians took him from our cell to the adjacent one, began to beat him cruelly and then shot.

5. Vidadi, born in 1965, and Murvat, born in 1974 - after taking away from the cell the Armenians beheaded them.

6. My neighbor Faiq Shahmali, born in 1969 - was shot by Armenian captain Karo.

At the time we were in Khojaly Karo was known as a hangman. He was the head of the Fire Prevention Division. He was tall, broad-shouldered and had black moustache.

Ilgar Niyaz Abishov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 Armenians surrounded and shelled Khojaly. We were on duty that time. During the exchange of fire with the Armenians my cousin Elshad was shot in his head. My mother, four brothers, my aunt’s grandsons Zahir, Elmar, his son Klos, Mobil, Guleysha and I were surrounded near the Askeran district. We were brought to the Askeran Police Department, and when we tried to escape they had shot my aunt’s grandson from behind. They tortured us by kicking and beating with batons and barrels of machine guns. A police officer Karo tortured me severely. Natiq, Mehman and Arif were there at the time we were brought. They were also subjected to tortures. About 8 days later they brought us to the place called Gala and cruelly beat us again. There were Mirza, Yunus, Huseyn, Ibrahim, Ali, my brothers Ilham and Saadat, and 2 men from Garadagli. They exchanged us with the help of Allahverdi Bagirov.

Mammad Jumshud Mammadov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, after the seizure of Khojaly by the Armenians, I had to flee away with the inhabitants of the town. With Janan Orujov, Faig Alimammadov, Kamil Mammadov, Kamal, Isa, Ilgar Abishov, Yashar Alimammadov, Mahammad Mammadov, and a group of people, whose names I forgot, we hid in the forest and stayed there till 28 February 1992. That night the Armenians captured me and brought to the farm in Nakhchevanik. There I learnt that they had killed Mammad after capturing him and that the other hostages were kept there. Karo Babayan headed those who captured us. He was the head of the Fire Prevention Division and a police captain. He tortured people who were held there. There were women and children among us. On 14 March 1992 they gathered 21 hostages in the room of the passport office of the Askeran Police Department. The Armenians from Karo’s group were beating us in that room. Later on that day they brought us back to the Azerbaijani side. Before exchanging us Karo Babayan killed Faiq Alimammadov in the yard of the Department. My brother Jamil Jumshud Mammadov can confirm this.

Valeh Sahib Huseynov:
Seeing the seizure of Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, at about 23.00 p.m., with my wife Saadat, my uncle Zakariyya Guliyev, his wife Shura, their sons Akbar, Taleh, their grandchildren Sevinj and Samir we began to flee to Askeran. When we reached the space between Shelli and Dahra the Armenians surrounded us and opened the fire. We tried to hide fleeing away in different directions. Then we lost each other. When I reached Shelli I could find my wife among those who had escaped and returned to the place where she had hidden. There were Salim, Durdana, Saida, Elshad and about 13-14 inhabitants of Khojaly, whose names I can’t remember now. When all our bullets were over, the Armenians captured us. My wife died as a result of the bullet wound. On 26 February 1992 they brought us to Askeran. On our way they were pushing us into the cold water of the Gargar river. They placed us in the Askeran Police Department with 13-14 people at about 10.00 a.m. There they separated women from men and began to beat. I remember Elkhan, Natiq, Salim, Vasif (now dead), Ilgar, Saadat (now dead), Intizam and Mehman, who were kept in my cell. About 15-20 hostages were kept in each cell. That evening Karo, who was the head of the Fire Prevention Division at that the Police Department and led other bearded Armenians, ordered to threw Elkhan, Salim, Huseyn, Natiq and me to the cell and cruelly beat us striking with barrels of machine guns, legs of chairs and batons. Cries were heard from the adjacent cells as well. Thus we realized that the Armenians were beating, raping and abusing women kept there. On 28 February 1992, at about 16.00-17.00 p.m., they took me and Elkhan to the cell that was designed for Karo’s tortures and pulled my nail out of the thumb and then broke my fingers. During the torture I was loosing consciousness for several times. On 1 March Karo and some other bearded Armenians entered the cell and beat everybody. Following Karo’s instructions, one Armenian thrust his knife into Elkhan’s chest but not very deep, so Elkhan did not die. Two hours later Karo took Elkhan, Natiq and 2 persons (I can’t remember their names) somewhere and I don’t know what happened to them afterwards. Then I learnt that Karo took Salim, Huseyn, Araz, Vasif from the cell and shot. That day at about 20.00 – 21.00 p.m., when he took us to beat again, he shot a person whose name was Faiq. On 22 March 1992, they brought me back to the Azerbaijani side and exchanged for 3 Armenians.

Yusif Museyib Karimov:
Before 25 February 1992 I lived in Khojaly with my family - my wife Iltima Mohterem Karimova, son Algayit, and daughters Aynura, Aygun and Yegana.
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 Khojaly was seized. That moment I was on duty standing with machine gun near the railway. I did not see my family when I returned home. I went in the direction of the Gargar river, near which I saw my family and about 20-25 inhabitants of the town, mainly women and children. At that moment the Armenians surrounded us and opened the fire. I fired as well, but as the barrel of the machine gun had been overheated and smashed to pieces I threw it to the river. The Armenians wounded me in my right thigh and captured us. They were bearded, I didn’t know their names, and among them were several Russians. Cruelly beating us with barrels of machine guns and pieces of wood they made us go on foot and gathered in the shop in Khojaly. They also brought others there. There were about 30 people. I remember Huseyn Sariyev, Hasan Hasanov, Alasgar, Shargiyya, and her daughters Alima and Irada.

On 26 February 1992, they put us in the bus and brought to the school for dumb in Khankendi. We were terribly tortured by the Armenians, whose names I didn’t know. One Armenian tore my forehead by beating with a barrel of the machine gun. They undressed Irada, 24-years-old daughter of Shargiyya, raped her and began to beat. The Armenians also raped my wife Iltima Karimova, cut her long hair to make her look ugly. As the Armenians struck my 6- and 7-years-old children against the concrete floor, they still suffer from headaches.

Then the Armenians separated me from the women, threw to the cellar and subjected to terrible tortures. My left four ribs were fractured as a result of blows. One Armenian thrust a knife into my left shoulder and pulled it out of my bosom, fired a piece of paper and burned my hair and then threw me back to the cell. There I saw my wife, children and other men and women bleeding and moaning.

On 5 March 1992, they separated me from my family, and along with Huseyn and Elbrus brought to the Khankendi police isolator. Here we were beaten by Agajanyan, the head of the Askeran Police Department. Before our eyes they killed the son of Khojaly inhabitant Mammadali. A week later they brought other inhabitants of Khojaly Ganahat, Alif Hajiyev’s father Latif Mammadov, Gayim, Gadim, Kamil Huseynov, Abulfat, Ali and his son Nabi. They tortured us there too.

On 16 April 1992, they brought me and Kamil to the place called Khanbagi in Khankendi, where the Armenians along with the Russian soldiers were beating, humiliating and torturing us for 5 days.

On 20 April 1992 they brought us to Yerevan, and after that to Goris and Megri. There they kept us in the cellar where we were regularly beaten and abused.

On 24 July 1992 they brought me and Kamil Huseynov to the Gubadly district and released us. They exchanged my family members in May.

Because of the injuries I received during the captivity, I have a very bad sight and now undergo medical treatment at the Institute of Eye Diseases.

Besides all my property was steeled by the Armenians.

Sahida Gurban Alakbarova:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the town of Khojaly was exposed to fire opened from 3 directions. We had to leave the town. The Armenians took us hostage along with 9 people in the area called Garagaya and brought to the Askeran Police Department. They took all our documents, money and jewelry on the way there. There were about 70 women and children. The Armenians took young girls and tortured them. One day they wanted to take my 6-years-old daughter. I didn’t let them take her and so they began to torture me. That day my mother was killed for her faith. My sisters Makhmar Huseynova and Mahbuba Abishova, her son Chingiz and daughter Chinara, my brother-in-law Sohrab are still missing. Along with 70 other people we were exchanged for two Armenian corpses. As a result of the seizure of the town, our house and all our property were plundered by the Armenians.

Adila Ali Nacafova:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians seized Khojaly, and so we were forced to leave the town. There were about 150-200 people among us. We fled to the forest. About 200 armed Armenians were shooting at us, and there were Russian soldiers among them as well. After the heavy fire approximately 20 of 150-200 people survived. The Armenians took away our money and jewelry, by pincers pulled out golden teeth, scratched women’s ears and took their earrings. My father’s and my gold teeth were pulled out as well. They cruelly murdered our neighbor Jalal’s wife, daughter, son and his fiancée. They tied a man whose name was Mushfig to the car and dragged him on the ground before our eyes. His face was injured and arms fractured. His own father could not recognize his corpse. We were severely beaten several times a day. Among the Armenians there was a woman whose name was Janna, and she tortured us as well. They did not even let us eat snow.

Vugar Ali Nacafov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians seized Khojaly at about 23.00 p.m. At that time we were on duty. After they surrounded us and we made an attempt to escape trying to move towards Aghdam. There were 60-70 people of us, only 20-30 people survived. Armenians gathered us in the house and began to torture. There was a Meskhetian Turk from Uzbekistan among us whose name was Ahmed. They tied his hands and legs and beheaded him. Then they took me to Khankandi. There they threw me to the cellar, tied my hands and started to beat until I lost consciousness. They heated a knife and branded my legs. There are numerous scars from knife wounds on my body. After that they forced me to drink yellow medicine. Now I know what a medicine it was. I have been married for 9 years but I still don’t have children. Having tortured many young Azerbaijanis like me, they made us miserable for lifetime. As a result of all these tortures, I suffer from nervous disorder, my kidneys are often aching, I can hardly stand on my feet. Our house, property, jewelry and money were plundered by the Armenians.

Etibar Ali Nacafov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, at about 22.00 p.m., the Armenians attacked Khojaly. At that time we were on duty. Early in the morning at about 4.00-5.00 a.m. the Armenians fired at us from the tank. As I was seriously wounded, I lost consciousness. When I came to senses I saw that the fire was ceased. The Armenians captured me along with the other inhabitants of Khojaly and brought to the isolator in Khankendi, where we were severely tortured. Although my left leg was seriously wounded, they broke my right leg striking it with one metre long iron. By pincers they pulled out golden teeth of a man whose name was Alasgar. He could not stand tortures and died that night.

Many people were dying there being unable to stand tortures. As a result of the seizure of the town, our house, jewelry, money, all our property were plundered by the Armenians.

Ramil Bilman Alakbarov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 I left my home town of Khojaly with my parents. That time I was 12 years old. We left the town and fled to the forest where we stayed for 6 days. The Armenians surrounded us and began to shoot. I was wounded in my left leg. There I saw with my own eyes that the Armenians shot 16 young people and dropped them into the well drill with the tractor. When we wanted to flee to Aghdam the Armenians caught us and cruelly beat my father. They took our jewelry and money. Then they brought us to the farm located in the Aghdam district and kept there for 3 days. As my leg was seriously wounded, my parents tied it with the string trying to stop bleeding. The Armenians were severely beating the hostages kept there. In 3 days they released us. After returning from captivity I was treated in the Aghdam hospital, and there are 12 stitches left on my leg. Now I suffer from these injuries. I still can’t normally walk. My father suffers from kidney and liver diseases as a result of the tortures he was exposed to during captivity.

Asya Mushur Bidzinova:
I had lived in Uzbekistan before. We found refuge in Azerbaijan and were settled in Khojaly. Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians seized Khojaly. The people began to flee to the forest. We hid in the basement of our house. The Armenians got into this basement and began to shoot. My husband was also there and died because of shots. When I wanted to come up to him the Armenians hit my back with a barrel of machine gun. There is a scar left on my body. They took 64 people, among which were little children, to Khankendi and kept there for 3 days. During captivity they didn’t give us even a slice of bread. The Armenians were raping young girls and regularly beating us.

Mahir Imran Khalilov:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians attacked Khojaly. They burnt houses, killed innocent people and looted all our property. We fled to the forest. A day later we reached the village of Abdal-Gulabli in Aghdam. There we were surrounded and captured by 30 Armenian militaries. I was with my father-in-law, mother-in-law, wife, brother-in-law and two daughters. Children were less than 1 year old. When we were taken hostage the Armenians beat us cruelly and took to the village of Dahraz in the Askeran district. There we were kept in the cellar for a week. Although there were little children among us, we were kept in a cold without food and water, beaten with barrels of machine guns, bludgeons and sticks. At present I suffer from these injuries. I got craniocerebral trauma, and my nervous system is disordered. When we left Khojaly our house and jewelry were looted by the Armenians. At the time we were taken hostage the Armenians took our money. On 3 March we were released. Among those Armenians who tortured us I remember only Armen who was beating captives with bludgeons, barrels of machine guns and spades.

Dilshad Saday Guliyeva:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 the Armenians seized Khojaly. They killed innocent people, burnt houses and plundered property. Those inhabitants of Khojaly who survived fled away in different directions. We fled to the forest and hid there. After 4 days of hiding in the forest near Nakhchivanik about 30 Armenian soldiers took us captive and brought to the Armenian village. The weather was very frosty and they made us go on foot. There were people who died of frost and hunger. They threw us to the cellar in the Armenian village and began to beat cruelly. There they shot about 7-8 Azerbaijanis before my eyes. Then they brought us to Askeran and threw into prison. There they kept us without food and water, beat us cruelly, cauterized burning cigarettes on the bodies of men and women. They took away our money and jewelry. They took my gold necklace, watch, rings and earrings. When we showed resistance they beat us severely. When we left Khojaly all our property was plundered by the Armenians. They also destroyed our house. When we were captured my two brothers-in-law were with us. One of them Mikayil Zahid Guliyev committed suicide. Another one, Azad Zahid Guliyev, was taken hostage by the Armenians and was held in captivity for 28 days. I was exchanged for the Armenian captives after being kept for a day in Askeran.

Shahla Bahatur Safarova:
We were forced to leave Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. Along with my husband and our 5 children we hid in the forest. There we were surrounded by the Armenians. I was wounded in my left arm at the village of Nakhchivanik. We could not move and were captured. The Armenians took us to Askeran and held us at the Police Department. Despite the fact that I was wounded, they did not provide me any medical aid. Though it was very cold, we were kept in the windowless room without food. When we left Khojaly the Armenians had plundered our house, jewelry, money and all our property. Two days later I was released.

Azad Zahid Guliyev:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 and fled to the forest. My brother Mikayil, sister-in-law Dilshad and cousin Asif were with me. My brother Mikayil committed suicide to avoid captivity. We were taken hostage in the place towards Nakhchivanik. I was held in captivity in Nakhchivanik, Askeran and Noragekh. The Armenians regularly beat us with barrels of machine guns, kept us without food, and cauterized burning cigarettes on our bodies. When I was in Nakhchivanik the Armenians shot 8 Azerbaijanis. I remember inspector Karen from Askeran and inspector Samvel from Noragekh. They beat and ruthlessly tortured all Azerbaijanis. I was held in captivity for 14 days, and then released along with the others.

Sattar Mukhtar Agayev:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. That day I was on duty. When I returned home I saw nobody there. I went towards the forest and met my family members. The weather was very frosty. We crossed the Gargar river and got soaked to the skin. I took my 10-years-old son Vusal in my arms and went on. But my son could not stand frost and died. As my legs freezed I could not move. In such a condition I was approached by two Armenians, beaten and captured. I wanted to take my son’s corpse but they kicked his dead body and did not let me take him. I was held in Dahraz, Khankendi, during my captivity. When I was held in the cellar they asked me if I had a son who had served in the national army. Trying to deceive them I gave a negative answer. Then they showed me his documents but I did not confess again. They beat me, then showed me the corpse of my son, the national army’s soldier Zahid Agayev. When I wanted to embrace him they beat me cruelly and I lost consciousness. By pincers they pulled out all my teeth. Wounds on my legs began to rot. They did not treat me. After being in captivity for 35 days I was released.

Sardar Sattar Agayev:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. Along with armed men we helped civilians to leave the village. We were going towards the forest. Suddenly a skirmish started. I was separated from my friends and captured by the Armenians. They ruthlessly beat me and I lost consciousness. When I came to senses I found myself in a hen-house. There one Armenian began to beat me cruelly with a barrel of machine gun. He struck me mainly in the head. Everything went dark before my eyes and I fell into a faint. When I came to senses I found myself surrounded by my relatives in the village of Abdal-Gulabli.

Sarvar Sattar Agayev:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. That time I was 12 years old. I was with my two brothers and mother. We stayed in the forest without food for 2 days.

When the cross-fire started I was separated from my family, captured by two Armenians and taken to the area called Agbulag. There they cruelly beat me and after threatening for 24 hours released me. I was scared and extremely nervous. By this reason I often have heart attacks, suffer from nervous disorder and have bad self-control.

Kamil Dadash Huseynov:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. That day I was on duty. I hardly reached home and saw nobody there. I fled to the forest and stayed there for 3 days with the other inhabitants of Khojaly. The weather was very frosty and foggy. That is why we lost the direction. We wanted to go to the village of Abdal-Gulabli of the Aghdam district. But by mistake we came to the village of Dahraz. There about 50-60 Armenian militaries shot at us. Many people died there. I was captured and taken to the isolator in Khankendi. I remember the names of people who were captured with me: Niftalin, Sattar, Samandar, Mahammed, Kamal, Alish, Abulfat. During the captivity they were severely beating us with barrels of machine guns. Furthermore, they let the civilians beat us. I remember very well the inspectors Felix and Arthur who were in the isolator. Then they brought us to Goris in Armenia. I was held captive at the Yerevan Police Department and was exposed to ruthless tortures. We were kept almost without food. In total, I was held captive for 6 months. Then they exchanged us for the Armenian captives in Gubadli. In the result of tortures I was struck by gastroenterostomy and later operated. After captivity I was told that my 7-years-old daughter Maral had been killed by the Armenians.

Rahila Rashid Hajieva:
The Armenians seized Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. They burnt houses, killed innocent people, plundered our property. The people were forced to leave their houses and flee away. At that time my husband Mustafayev Vidadi Shafa participated in the battle. He served in the volunteer battalion. We could not leave our house. My daughters Safayat, Ayshan, my son Taleh, my sister-in-law Rahila and the family of Alkhan who worked at the Khojaly Police Department hid in the bathroom of our house. It was snowing and very frosty. Alkhan came to our house at about 4.00-5.00 a.m. He told that the Armenians had already occupied Khojaly. The Armenians got into our house and captured us on 26 February at about 11.00 a.m. They were beating us cruelly. My daughter Safayat was crying: “Don’t beat my mother”. An Armenian caught and threw her from the second floor. She injured her knee joint. Then the Armenians started to beat Alkhan. He told us that my husband Vidadi had been wounded during the battle and had given him cartridges to shoot us to avoid captivity. Alkhan asked to forgive him for being unable to do that and the Armenians killed him by beating before our eyes. One Armenian took his wife. His two sons were brought with us to the Askeran Police Department. I recognized Ashot from Shushukand among the Armenians who captured us. His father’s name was Ata. They kept us in Askeran for a week. There was an Azerbaijani with a nickname Dumbay who lives at present at the hostel of college 9 in Ganja. They took him away for beating. When he returned he told that my husband was held in the cellar and the Armenians were planning to kill us torturing before his eyes. Then the Armenians asked me for several times who was that man. I didn’t reply anything and they began to torture me. They heated reinforcing steel and cauterized it to my body. They cut my left arm and upper jaw with a knife. These scars remain on my body now. Later I learnt that my husband Vidadi along with 4 other Azerbaijanis had been taken to the grave-yard by an Armenian whose 20-years-old brother had been killed in the battle, and there he had beheaded them on his grave.

My sister-in law Rahila Shafa Mustafayeva was also held in captivity. She was 25 years old. We were raped by the Armenians for several times. They were beating us with barrels of machine guns and bludgeons and didn’t give us any food. A man whose name was Karo was among the Armenians who tortured us. He was even more cruel than the others. He was tying captives’ arms and legs and was beating and breaking them with baton. He was cauterizing burning cigarettes to their eyes and different parts of their bodies and raping women. He was always wearing military uniform. The Armenians took all our jewelry, money and documents. My sister-in-law Rahila fell ill seriously. As a result of tortures, a blood flow started. It was hard to keep her alive till the end of captivity. There we were kept in the cold and without food. All my children fell ill. 7 days later we were exchanged for the Armenian captives. Although we underwent medical treatment after captivity, it was impossible to save the lives of my sister-in-law Rahila and my daughter Shafayat. My daughter died at the age of 22, my daughter Ayshan and son Taleh are always ailing and are under the doctor’s control. I myself was operated. Because of received craniocerebral injury, I often suffer from headaches.

Elmira Isgandar Valiyeva:
The Armenians seized Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. They burnt houses, killed innocent people. We could hardly flee to the forest and stayed there for 5 days. The weather was very frosty. We were stiffed with cold. In such a condition we were captured and held in captivity for several days. Then they exchanged. While staying in Askeran, we were severely beaten with batons. The Armenians took my ring, necklace, earrings and money. As a result of received injuries, I often have headaches and suffer from nervous disorder.


Guloysha Baxtiyar Mammadova:
We left Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. With my son Farhad we fled to the forest. After staying there for 3 days we were taken hoslage in the area of Gilinbag and then brought to the Askeran Police Department. There we were held for 10 days. They severely beat us, kept without food; many young women were tortured and raped. They beat us with bludgeons, pieces of iron and barrels of machine guns. I was held hostage for 10 days. At the moment I am being tormented by the injuries received in captivity. I had got craniocerebral trauma. I can’t sleep without taking sleeping pills. I often have severe headaches. I suffer from kidney and stomach-intestine diseases.


Sanam Hasan Abdullayeva:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 I left Khojaly along with my father, mother, my sisters Hadija, Tazagul, Latafat, my daughters Vusala, Khayala and my nephew Ruslan. We fled to the forest where my father, mother and sister Latafat died. We stayed there for 4 days. Then we were taken hostage by the Armenians near the village of Pirjamal and kept in the stable along with about 300 inhabitants of Khojaly. While we were in captivity an armed Armenians killed Faiq Alimammadov and Ismail. The Armenians tortured and beat us with barrels of machine guns and bludgeons, and didn’t give us any food. We were released in a day.

Farman Gazanfar Mammadov:
The Armenians seized Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. We were forced to leave our native land. I was 10 years old then. With my mother we fled to the forest along with the other civilians.

Without food we had to stay there in freezing cold for 3 days. Then we were taken hostage by the Armenians. They severely beat us and brought to the Askeran Police Department. There they kept us in the cell for 10 days. There were about 20-30 people. Every day prison guards were beating us with reinforcing steel and raping young women. They kept us without food. I was a child and when I cried of fear the Armenians were knocking me down and kicking. As a result, I got kidney disease. In 10 days we were released. Since then I was undergoing medical treatment until 1996. Our house and property were plundered by the Armenians.


Sevil Mursal Abdulova:
The Armenians seized Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992. With my family - my husband and our 3 children we fled to the forest. The Armenians surrounded us. They started to shoot in the direction where people crowded. My 12-years-old son Jeyhun and I were wounded and then separated from the other family members near Aghdam in the area called Garagaya. There we were taken hostage by two armed Armenians. A woman from Khankendi whose name was Gulli and her son were with us. This woman burnt all her money. When the Armenians saw it they killed them both. They took money and jewelry out of my bag. They brought us to their house in Khankendi and held there for 3 days. The name of the house host was Sarkis. His son Karlen Ayrumyan was imprisoned in Azerbaijan. Later we were exchanged for him in Askeran.

Fatma Hasan Zamanova:
As a result of the seizure of Khojaly over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, my family members fled away in different directions, and I hid in the basement prepared for protection from bombing. There were about 100 women, men, elderly and children. Later the Armenian and Russian soldiers found us and started to beat with barrels of machine guns, and then by kicking pulled us out of the basement. When I saw my husband - Novruz Gulu Zamanov’s dead body I wanted to approach him, but an Armenian saw it and kicked me so that I fell down. Then they brought us to the village of Mehdi. There they undressed a group of Azerbaijani soldiers and shot them before our eyes, cut their bodies into pieces and then put one on another. They cut pregnant women’s stomaches, pulled out babies and then started to shoot tearing them to pieces. They told they would not allow the Azerbaijani women to bear boys because one day they would come with weapons in their arms to kill the Armenians. They were putting glass bottles into women’s wombs, knocking them down and then jumping over them, breaking bottles on their stomaches and putting old galoshes into their wombs. They cut girls’ hair to make them look ugly. They chose 50 girls and took them away to rape. The Armenians undressed some men and tried to force them to have sexual intercourse with their daughters, threatening to behead them if they refuse. I don’t remember the names of our torturers. They brought those who survived to the cellar of unknown building in Khankendi, and our tortures continued. I was released at the end of March 1992.

Shakhnaz Yusif Behbudova:
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992 Khojaly was seized. My father-in-law Shura Pashayev and mother-in-law Kubra Pashayeva were with us at that time. After crossing the Gargar river we fled to the forest near the village of Nakhchivanik together with our children and went towards Aghdam. But when we reached the cemetery between Aghdam and Askeran the Armenians surrounded us and started to shoot from machine guns. All people began to flee away in different directions. There were about 100 woman, children, and old people from the city. My husband Elshan Shura Pashayev and father-in-law Shura Pashayev along with the other people died from fire opened by the Armenians. Lining up those who survived near the river-bed they started to throw grenades. Only nine men who managed to flee to the pit could survive being wounded. My mother-in-law Kubra was wounded in her left hand by 2 bullets and my leg was scraped. Our neighbors Elbrus, Islam, Vugar, Gulnaz, Surayya (she died later) survived. Lining us up again the Armenians began to strike by different objects, abuse and then threw us to the basement of the Askeran Police Department.

There they kept men separately from women. There were about 40-50 wounded women and children in our cell. Tortures were horrible. They were exscinding women’s arms, noses and ears, they didn’t give us any food or water, children were crying and wounded people were moaning. Sometimes the Armenians were coming to our cell and taking away beautiful, young women and upon their return we knew that they had been raped. I heard that some girls were not released yet. When girls’ mothers wanted to go with their daughters they were beaten till the loss of consciousness. The Armenians took all our jewelry. All these tortures continued till the next day. We were brought back to the Azerbaijan side in the evening on 27 February 1992.

Prepared on the basis of the records of the criminal case investigating by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan.