On March 11 pilot version of the documentary “Endless Corridor” filmed by the Union of European Cinematographers within the framework of the project “Peaceful Caucasus” was presented at the Nizami Cinema Center of Baku under auspices of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The presentation was held in the framework of “Justice for Khojaly” campaign and was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.
The First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva attended the ceremony.
The documentary filmed by the cinematographers from the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland is about the human tragedy which took place in Khojaly on February 26, 1992.
Holding a speech at the ceremony, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, General Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva highly appreciated the work of the filmmakers.
The initiator of the “Justice for Khojaly” campaign Leyla Aliyeva also said that this film would play an important role in delivering the truth about the Khojaly genocide to the world community. Khojaly genocide is a pain of not only Azerbaijani people, but every honest person, who at least once got information about this tragedy and saw its consequences.
Leyla Aliyeva said: “Khojaly genocide is an indelible pain of Azerbaijani people and everyone of us. This event took place 20 years ago, but memory of killed innocent people will always stay in our hearts. The film was produced by foreign journalists. It is about the tragedy committed in Khojaly on February 26, 1992. I think this film describes those terrible events authentically and through the facts. As you know, Azerbaijani people commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy this year and we have held a series of events throughout the world. The memory of innocent old people, women and children killed and tortured during this terrible event will always live in our hearts. We believe that this terrible tragedy will get its international assessment soon and perpetrators of this event will be punished.”
Leyla Aliyeva also noted that the activity under auspices of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum toward the legal and political recognition of the Khojaly tragedy and the restoration of justice will be continued in 2012.
Lithuanian reporter Richardas Lapaytis addressed the presentation ceremony: “I was making notes about the events I witnessed while working voluntarily in Aghdam and then visiting the conflict zone in my diary. I returned to my notes many times to find answer to the questions Who? Why? What for? I decided to participate in the film when I knew that my colleagues, cinematographers take interest in these questions and my notes as a witness”.
The Lithuanian journalist said he advocated for the idea of screening this film in Armenia too. “I would like this film to be shown in Armenia too. It would help to start a dialogue, at least to find common point in this issue of humanitarian character”.
Government and state officials, foreign diplomats accredited in Azerbaijan, members of the parliament, mass media managers and well-known public figures attended the presentation ceremony.
A music muster captured during the tragedy, Russian military reporter, a woman, who lost most of her relatives and captured, participated in the journalistic investigation launched by the Lithuanian reporter Richardas Lapaytis, who changed his fate in February, 1992, 20 years later after the tragedy.
Along with the fates of different people, the period of USSR collapse and memories of the witnesses of the Karabakh conflict were described in the film.
613 peaceful residents were killed, more than 1000 were wounded, 8 families were slaughtered, 25 children lost their parents, 130 children lost one of their parents and 150 people went missing during the massacre perpetrated against the peaceful people in the town of Khojaly by the Armenian armed forces and 366th regiment of the Russian army at night from February 25 to 26, 1992.
“Justice for Khojaly” International Awareness Campaign was launched in 2009 on the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, General Coordinator of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation.
The campaign directed toward the political and legal recognition of the tragedy was successfully launched in more than 35 countries. In January, 2012, on the initiative of International Conference Youth Forum, the Khojaly tragedy was recognized by the Parliamentary Assembly of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which unites 51 countries, as genocide. Similar decisions were passed by the Mexican and Pakistani parliaments.
At the end of the ceremony the the attendants were distributed books called “Khojaly. 20 years. These could be true” written in Russian and English languages with Leyla Aliyeva’s initiative.