Destruction of Jugha Cemetery Reported

TEHRAN(Alik)–The National Council of Armenia’s of Nakhichevan has called on the international community to act on the ongoing vandalism of Armenian Cemeteries in historic Jugha (presently Julfa). The Council reports that according to the France-based "Country and Culture" organization–a cemetery-church was recently destroyed. The historic cemetery–located 10-km from Julfa (Iran) and across the northern bank of the Arax River–has three hills–each representing different eras from the Twelfth to Seventeenth centuries.

At the beginning of Twentieth century–the cemetery–in which ancestors of former Nor Jugha Armenia’s were buried–had some 12,000 khachkars. Due to premeditated destruction by the Azeri Government– the cemetery now has less than 2000 unique khachkars–most of them vandalized. Apparently the Azeris–who had stopped the vandalism under the pressure of the international community more than five years ago–have decided to complete their initial plan to thoroughly cleanse the site.

The National Council of Armenia’s of Nakhichevan have urged the President of Armenia Robert Kocharian–Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II– the Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia Aram I–the National Assembly and the Executive Government of Armenia–as well as Diaspora organizations to raise their voice against the cultural genocide committed by Azerbaijan.

The Council will also apply to UNESCO asking that an international commission be formed to examine the damaged historical monumen’s on location–as well as to ask that the Jugha cemetery be turned into an international historical and cultural neutral zone.

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