This cross-stones doesn't exist anymore, because of CULTURAL GENOCIDE

This cross-stones doesn't exist anymore, because of CULTURAL GENOCIDE

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Final Destruction of the Armenian Cemetery of Julfa

In the Soviet years, Julfa Cemetery was absolutely neglected by Azerbaijan's Monuments Preservation Department; moreover, under state auspices, its khachkars were continually broken to pieces and used as building material.In November 1998, Nakhijevan's Azerbaijani authorities started destroying the cemetery with bulldozers. UNESCO's intercession was able to stop that unprecedented vandalism only temporarily.The annihilation of the cemetery resumed on 9 November 2002. The photographs some eye-witnesses took from the Iranian bank of the river Arax revealed that none of the cemetery's khachkars remained standing.Between 10 and 14 December 2005, the Azeri vandals, who had not been held accountable for their previous crimes, finally succeeded in purging the three hills of Julfa Cemetery of all the remnants of khachkars. Using heavy hammers and pickaxes, about 200 soldiers of the Azerbaijani army reduced the displaced khachkars to a heap of crushed pieces which were loaded onto lorries and emptied into the river Arax.In early March 2006, Nakhijevan's authorities stationed a shooting-ground on the site of Julfa Cemetery. Lying over thousands of human remains, that firing-ground is an eloquent manifestation of Azerbaijan's moral values. Situated very close to the Iranian border, it can never serve soldiers in need of shooting practice. In fact, it was hurriedly established to conceal Azerbaijan's criminal actions: the Azerbaijani authorities turned the site of the former cemetery into a "military zone" so that they could ban foreign missions and observers from entering it.

by Dr. Armen Haghnazarian

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