Maragha the bloodiest episode of the war in Karabakh
Maraga April - 10 - 1992
On April 9 the presentation of the disk “Maragha” produced by the Milky Way Studio took place at Artsakh State University.
April 10 is the 15th anniversary of the tragedy in the village of Maragha, Martakert. In the night of April 10, 1992 the Azerbaijani special operational force and the Fourth Soviet Army stationed in Kirovabad attacked the village, which had a population of 5 thousand by that time. The 200 militants of the village could not stop the tanks and the armored machines, and the Azerbaijanis captured the village. In four hours Maragha was liberated by the joint defense squads. However, the Armenian militants still remember the horrible picture they saw. Dead bodies torn to parts, people burnt alive, old people and children taken hostages… People were not just killed.
“It was perhaps the bloodiest episode of the war in Karabakh. What happened in Maragha was the consequence of the policy conducted by Azerbaijan for years on. The seeds of hatred grew at the convenient moment – Sumgait, Maragha… Unfortunately, the policy of inciting hatred continues, which does not allow setting up friendly relations between our countries,” said Speaker Ashot Ghulyan during the presentation.
“The massacres of the peaceful population in Maragha had nothing to do with the military actions. These people did not threaten Azerbaijan, the village was not a weapon emplacement. However, the criminals have not assumed responsibility yet,” said Vahram Atanesyan, the chair of the Committee of External Relations.
Narine Aghabalyan, director of the Milky Way Studio, said the disc contains documents, stories of witnesses, the participants and the victims, photos, footages of the next day of the tragedy, as well as a film based on the stories of witnesses. After the liberation Baroness Caroline Cox arrived at the village. An interview with her and passages from her book about ethnic cleansing were included in the disk as well.
Narine Aghabalyan told that the only effort to make the events in Maragha known to the world was made by the Organization Against Legal Arbitrariness (director Larissa Alaverdyan). A lot of materials were accumulated, which were to be presented to the UN but the work stopped halfway.
All the materials that the organization had collected were included in the disk. Narine Aghabalyan said the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided archive materials and legal documents. The disk also includes newspaper stories. The production was sponsored by the American businessman Vardges Anivyan, the owner of the milk factory of Stepanakert.
“According to these materials, on that day 81 people were slaughtered, 67 were taken hostages. Some hostages were later returned or exchanged, but many are still missing. 260 families, 880 people, remained in Karabakh after those events. Now the village of Maragha is in the neutral territory. In satellite photos we can see that the village has been razed to the ground,” Narine Aghabalyan says.
“In New Maragha 530 people live. We started living in this village because there is nowhere else we can go to. And we have the right to live there until we return to our native village,” said the head of the community of Nor Maragha Roma Karapetyan.
Most inhabitants of Maragha live in Russia. “We still have contact with them, but they are reluctant to return,” said the head of the community.
“Azerbaijan was able to persuade the UN to send a mission to Karabakh to “prove” that Armenians live in the liberated territories. Where are the people of Maragha supposed to live? Where are those 7000 people who lived in Maragha, Margushavan? Isn’t the UN supposed to think about them?” Narine Aghabalyan said.
10-04-2007 10:31:38 - KarabakhOpen