BAKU: Chechens to Support Azeris in Case of Karabakh War


Yeni Musavat, Baku
25 Apr 04

Text of R. Kazimli report by Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni Musavat on 25
April headlined “Any method can be used to liberate Karabakh” and
subheaded “Mayrbek Taramov reckons that any action taken against an
aggressor does not run counter to international norms”

We have reported that 22 Azerbaijanis were arrested (in August 2003)
for wishing to fight on the side of Chechens. Those people were led by
Rovsan Badalov and wanted to wage a guerrilla warfare in Karabakh.

One may wonder as to why they were arrested. Azerbaijan’s lands have
long been occupied by the Armenians and the authorities always talk a
lot about liberating them. Perhaps guerrilla warfare is now considered
illegal by international law?

We decided to go to Chechens who are fighting a bloody war for their
rights with this question. The director of the Chechen Rights Centre
and independent journalist, Mayrbek Taramov, said that the entire
world has come to accept that the war in Chechnya as the national
liberation movement of the Chechens.

“All the events unfolding in Chechnya, the assassination of (former
Chechen president) Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev and Russia’s persecution of
Chechens shows that Russia resorts to terrorist methods. Therefore,
the entire world has to help Chechnya. As for the imprisonment of the
Azerbaijanis, there is no evidence to support their arrest. It is said
that they wanted to fight for the Chechens. At the time one judge
told me, avoiding eye contact, that he understood everything but could
not do otherwise. We have to admit that a person cannot be convicted
of plans to do something. Regrettably, this kind of thing is possible
only in Azerbaijan.”

Taramov recalled that Chechen leaders, for instance Shamil Basayev,
used to say that they were ready to assist Azerbaijan in re-taking
Karabakh. The Chechens are ready to keep their word, Taramov
said. “The Chechens have once proven that and they are ready to help
the Azerbaijani people for a second or third time. The Chechen
mojahedin consider this their holy duty.”

What is Taramov’s stance on the decision of an Azerbaijani citizen to
start a guerrilla war in Karabakh? It is a fact that Azerbaijan’s
lands have been occupied, Taramov said. “Neither international
organizations, nor the UN charter rules out any of the possible
methods of countering aggression. My subjective standpoint is that the
OSCE Minsk Group and other international organizations are interested
in maintaining the status quo. Had they wanted to, they would have
resolved the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict long ago. It is Azerbaijan and
its people who are suffering and nobody will deem it abnormal if any
measures are taken to free Karabakh. By waging a guerrilla warfare in
your own territory, you will not be violating any international

So, we see that representatives of the Chechen nation fighting against
the Russian empire are on the side of the patriotic Azerbaijanis. We
can conclude from their comments that we should no longer postpone the
time when we open fire at the Armenians. In other words, instead of
putting in prisons those who want to fight a guerrilla war against the
invaders, we should create opportunities and conditions for them to
realize their intentions.