Politics 17:38 23/02/2016 Armenia

Genocide was committed in Sumgayit, expert says

«Today we can say for sure that the pogroms in Sumgayit had been pre-planned and even roles assigned to specific people. There are numerous facts and documents», said Larisa Alaverdyan, the chairwoman of the «Against the Violation of Law» NGO during a press conference today, on February 23.

According to her, the organisers made sure to spread fear not only among 18.000 Armenian residents of Sumgayit and make them leave the region, but to affect a much wider community spread in 300 settlements.

The head of «Ordinary Genocide» project Marina Grigoryan, also present at the press conference, said that all the materials acquired so far, including pictures and video footages, prove that genocide was committed in Sumgayit in a manner fully consistent with the wording and description of this crime in the UN Convention on Genocide Prevention.

«Our studies show that Azerbaijan continues this same policy till now, the one that took roots in Sumgayit, Kirovabad, Baku, Maragha and Budapest. Today we see how they treat the Armenian POWs and hostages, which is exactly showing the state policy. One of customary things in Azerbaijan today – the glorification of criminals – began in Sumgayit. During the demonstrations in Baku they were holding banners with pictures of those executioners of Sumgayit chanting  «Glory to the heroes of Sumgayit»»,- the expert said.

Grigoryan presented their recent works and studies within the «Ordinary Genocide» project, adding that a month ago the second volume of «The Sumgait Tragedy: Eyewitness Accounts» was published.

«Back in 1989 Samvel Shahmuradyan’s «The Sumgait Tragedy: Pogroms Against Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan: Eyewitness Accounts» was published. The author interviewed the refugees as soon as they stepped into Armenia and recorded their memories and eyewitness accounts. The first volume was published only in 1000 copies. Three years ago we re-published that book. A month ago we also published the second volume, where there are testimonies and pictures that are publicised for the first time ever. All this evidence proves yet again that we don’t realise the full scale of Sumgayit tragedy»,- Grigoryan said.

According to Marina Grigoryan, though only 27 Armenian victims are reported officially, in fact hundreds of people were slaughtered that day.

«It is claimed that no child was killed in Sumgayit. We published a photo of a child’s body, retrieved from the investigation materials and presented at the trial, and there are visible signs of violence on the body»,- Grigoryan said, showing the picture in question.

The «Ordinary Genocide» project is implemented by the «Information and Public Relations Center» SNCO of the Office to the President of Armenia. Documentaries in five languages about Sumgayit, Maragha and Operation “Ring” had been produced within this project since November 2009. Among other things, Karabakhrecords website was developed and launched. A number of other books have been published, re-published and translated. Information booklets in Armenian, Russian and English were produced containing information about the events covered in the «Ordinary Genocide» project. 

Source Panorama.am
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