Politics 13:47 04/03/2017 Region

Romanian media reports: Pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait were embodiment of Azerbaijani leadership's policy of xenophobia and ethnic cleansing

It is endemic for the leadership of Azerbaijan to voice only their own interpretation of history in a way that easily resembles to the Goebbels-like ideology: “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” statement of the Embassy of Armenia in Romania reads. 

Reportedly, since the waning years of the USSR, the people of the self-determined Nagorno-Karabakh have been fighting for the recognition of their status guaranteed by the international law. The lawful demands of the people of Artsakh to exercise their right to self-determination were met with anti-Armenian pogroms in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait — 26 km away from Baku. Those events, carried out under the motto “Death to Armenians”, were the embodiment of Azerbaijani leadership's policy of xenophobia, ethnic cleansing and deportation of Armenians.

Those atrocities were the very reason Andrei Sakharov, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, wrote “even if some doubted it before Sumgait, no one sees a moral opportunity to insist on territorial unity of NKAO and Azerbaijan after this tragedy happened.”

“If official Baku's response to the aspiration of people of Nagorno-Karabakh to exercise its right to self-determination were pogroms and ethnic-cleansing of the Armenian population, the reaction to the implementation of that right in 1991, based on then existing USSR legislation and norms of international law was the large-scale war against the newly-independent Artsakh, accompanied by gross violations of the international humanitarian law,” the authors emphasize.

According to the statement, exactly 25 years ago Azerbaijani Armed Forces commenced the months-long shelling of the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh — Stepanakert, which at that time had become a shelter for the refugees fleeing the pogroms in Sumgait, Baku and other cities in Azerbaijan. On February 13 of 1992, in violation of international conventions, Azerbaijan started using BM-21 “Grad” multi rocket launchers on the residential areas of Stepanakert. Khojaly was one of the seven firebases, used for the shelling of Stepanakert. Even back in Soviet time Khojaly had an important strategic importance, as it was situated on the crossroad connecting Stepanakert to other regions of Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, in 1970s the only airport of Nagorno-Karabakh was built next to Khojaly, which during the Artsakh's blockade was the single gate point to the outside world. Thus, by 1992 it became evident that the neutralization of Khojaly fire point was an imperative for the physical preservation of the population of both Stepanakert and Nagorno-Karabakh as a whole. The operation to neutralize the Khojaly fire point started on February 25, 1992.
For months, the Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense forces had been informing the Azerbaijani side through all the possible means about this operation, its objectives and the humanitarian corridor left for the evacuation from Khojaly.

“Azerbaijan continues to distort the facts surrounding the bloody events near the city of Aghdam, which they call the 'Khojaly tragedy'. The mere facts of those events raise many questions, and the Azerbaijani leaderships, even after 25 years, still prefers to keep the answers behind seven locks,” the statement reads.
Ramiz Fataliev, Chair of the Committee Investigating the Events of Khojaly: “Four days left until the events of Khojaly. On February 22, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Head of the KGB and others, a National Security Council session took place at which a decision was taken not to evacuate people from Khojaly.” 

Here's an excerpt from the words of Azeri journalist Cingiz Mustafaev, a witness to the events: “On 29th [of February], when I was heading to Aghdam from another side, from the village of Umudlu, in a military helicopter, I saw that in 10 kilometers from Khojaly and approximately in 700 meters from our military post, dead bodies of our people were scattered on the ground. What horrified me the most was when I was filming these corpses, there were around 10 people from our side, strolling around easily in military uniforms. I was told that there were no corpses, it was impossible to get there, there were Armenians and there was shooting. But when we eventually landed there on our helicopters, three helicopters unexpectedly and immediately flew to Aghdam; those 10 people left, too. I still cannot understand why in 700 meters from our posts, where there were our soldiers roaming calmly, nobody was picking up these dead bodies?” 
Mustafaev also speaks of the main crime committed during the Aghdam events — the mutilation of bodies, discovered couple of days after the events. “Who has done all this? I was filming here just yesterday, there was nothing like that there.”

It comes as no surprise that there is zero tolerance in Azerbaijan towards the doubt, suspicion or investigative journalism on the official version of those events. Those who dare to speak openly about these events, were either killed like Cingiz Mustafaev, or imprisoned like journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, or exiled like the first President of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutallibov.

During the interview with Czech journalist Dana Mazalova published in April 1992 Mutallibov stated that the militia of the Azerbaijani National Front actively obstructed and actually prevented the evacuation of the local civilian population from the military operation zone through the mountain passages specifically left open by Karabakh Armenians. The hope and intention of the Azerbaijani opposition was to utilize civilian losses of such a magnitude to instigate a popular uprising against the Baku regime and seize the reins of power.
Besides, more than 700 residents of Khojaly did not leave the village and were taken to Stepanakert, where they were provided with food and medical aid. Two days later, they were transferred to the Azerbaijani side, without any preconditions

“The Azerbaijani leadership has not answered yet to those questions raised by Azerbaijanis themselves. Meanwhile it has almost mastered the art of distorting the abovementioned facts in order to blame others for their crimes and escape the responsibility, while attempting to create a fictional counterbalance to the massacres that it has perpetrated against Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha,” the authors write.

The Sumgait events created a precedent of impunity and even of glorification for the killings of peaceful Armenian citizens, something we witnessed later on during Armenian massacres elsewhere in Azerbaijan. The leadership of Azerbaijan continues to inject hatred against Armenians. It encourages such crimes as the brutal murder of Gurgen Margaryan, who in 2004 was axed in his sleep by Ramil Safarov, when the two were enrolled in NATO training course in Budapest. The killer was later proclaimed a national hero of Azerbaijan.
Even recently, during the April 2016 aggression against Artsakh, the world witnessed the results of the state-run policy of Armenophobia in Azerbaijan. The ISIS-style beheading of Kyaram Sloyan and two other Nagorno-Karabakh serviceman, or the brutal murder and mutilation of elderly family in Talish village, as well as the decoration of the perpetrators of these war crimes by the President of Azerbaijan is abhorrent and should be condemned by the whole international community.

On 26-29 February 1988 in terms of actual complicity of local authorities and inaction of the USSR government mass pogroms of civilians were organized in Sumgait city of Azerbaijani SSR, accompanied with unprecedented brutal murders, violence and pillaging against the Armenian population of the city. Armenian pogroms in Sumgait were carefully organized. At the meetings, which began on February 26 in the central square, city leaders openly called for violence against the Armenians.

On February 27 protests which were attended by hundreds of rioters turned into violence. Armed with axes, knives, specially sharpened rebar, rocks and cans of gasoline and with the pre-compiled lists of apartments where Armenians lived the rioters broke into the houses, turning everything upside down there and killing the owners. In the same time, people were often taken out to the streets or to the courtyard for jeering at them publicly. After painful humiliations and torture the victims were doused with gasoline and burnt alive. On February 29 army troops entered Sumgait but without an order to intervene. Only in the evening, when the mad crowd began to attack the soldiers the military units took up decisive steps.

The exact number of victims of Sumgait pogroms is still unknown. According to official data, 27 Armenians were killed; however there is ample evidence that several hundred Armenians have been killed in the city in three days. There is also evidence that the riots were coordinated by the Azerbaijani KGB. Executioners of Sumgait were subsequently declared as national heroes of Azerbaijan.

On February 26, 1992, during the Karabakh war, around 200 to 300 people (according to Human Rights Watch, and 600 according to the version propagated by Azerbaijan) were killed in unknown circumstances near the city of Aghdam. They were deliberately withheld by the Azerbaijani authorities in the midst of the military actions. The authorities of Azerbaijan intentionally kept the population in the village for months by force and did not evacuate them in order to use them as human shields later as the village was one of the firing points for shooting at the blockaded Stepanakert (among five others).

The residents of Khojaly, coming out through the humanitarian corridor the self-defense forces of the NKR had left open, freely passed more than 10 km and reached the Aghdam city controlled by the Azerbaijani troops. Later, dead bodies of the villagers were foundnot far from the positions of Azerbaijani troops. The exact death toll remains unknown as the official Baku publishes data contradicting each other. Parliamentary Commission investigating the tragic death of the civilians at Aghdam city was dissolved by the order of Heydar Aliyev, the investigative materials are kept secret.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Ancient Armenian church renovated in Iran
The old structure, courtyard, and other premises of Bushehr Gregorian Church have recently been rearranged and cleaned as local authorities plan...
Azerbaijani border serviceman commits suicide in military hospital
A serviceman of the Azerbaijani State Border Service (SBS) of Azerbaijan committed suicide in the military hospital, the local sources...
Stefano Pietrodarchi sends a video message to Armenian audience ahead of the Yerevan concert
The Italian accordion and bandoneon player Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi will perform with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in the Dvin Music...
Number of COVID-19 infections in Russia surpasses 11 mln since pandemic began
Russia has registered 57,212 new confirmed COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, compared to 49,513 the day before, with the total number...
Air temperature to gradually go up by 4-6 degrees in Armenia
No precipitation is predicted on January 23, 25, 26 in the territory of Armenia and in separate places in the morning hours of January 24. On...
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas welcome first child via surrogate
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas have welcomed their first baby, The Hollywood Reporter said. The couple announced on their respective...
Surgeon and economist start a new business
For two friends - Sevak Shahbazyan and Armen Hovhannisyan - agriculture is a new field of activity. Sevak is Yerevan’s chief surgeon,...
Pashinyan, Putin hold phone call
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday held a telephone conversation with Nikol Pashinyan at the initiative of the Armenian...
Iran holding talks with Russia on construction of new Bushehr NPP units
Iran is holding negotiations with Russia on constructing new units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Sputnik said on Saturday, citing media...
Electricity generation on the decline in Armenia
A total of 6 billion 848.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were generated in Armenia in January-November 2021, down by 2% from the same...
Tigran Abrahamyan: Turkey's ‘appetite’ hasn't been limited to South Caucasus for a long time
China, Russia and Iran have launched joint military drills amid new confrontation between Russia and the West, Armenian MP Tigran Abrahamyan,...
New requirement for vaccination proof to enter restaurants, other places comes into force in Armenia
The new requirement for people to either show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test to enter a number of public places in Armenia...
US denies visa to Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub
The United States denied an entry visa to Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub, who was to undergo training at NASA's Johnson Space Center, a...
Armenia reports no Covid-19 deaths for second day in a row
Armenia has confirmed 940 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 350,897 as of 11 a.m. Saturday, January 22, the...
Snowstorm hits some roads in Armenia
Several roads are closed and difficult to pass in Armenia as of Saturday morning, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reports. In...
Arnold Schwarzenegger involved in car crash
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident in Los Angeles, BBC News reports, citing his spokesman. The...
Armenia has new deputy minister of justice
By Nikol Pashinyan's decision, Arpine Sargsyan has been appointed Armenia’s new Deputy Minister of Justice. Previously, she served...
Armenian Church commemorates Patriarchs St. Athanasius and St. Cyril
The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates Patriarchs St. Athanasius and St. Cyril of Alexandria on Saturday, January 22, Qahana.am reports....
U.S. and Russia agree to keep talking after meeting on Ukraine
The top U.S. and Russian diplomats made no major breakthrough at talks on Ukraine on Friday but agreed to keep talking to try to resolve a...
Armenian peacekeeping contingent back from Kosovo
The Armenian servicemen, who have carried out a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, have returned to Armenia, the press department at the ministry...
Russia is active in addressing the problem of Armenian prisoners - Sergey Lavrov
"We are consistently making efforts to resolve the situation on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but unfortunately, armed clashes...
Delegation from the European Union visiting Armenia
A delegation led by Isabelle Dumont, representative of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and advisor to the French...
Russia reports 49,513 daily Covid cases, a new high since start of pandemic
Russia’s COVID-19 case tally surged by 49,513 over the past day to 10,987,774, the anti-coronavirus crisis center told reporters on...
Roma congratulates Mkhitaryan on birthday anniversary
AS Roma  has congratulated Armenian national football team captain and its midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on his 33rd birthday anniversary...
Hatred against LGBTI people in the South Caucasus on the agenda of PACE Winter session
Debates on combating rising hate against LGBTI people in Europe and on alleged violations of their rights in the Southern Caucasus, are among...
Blinken and Lavrov convene in Geneva over Ukraine crisis
Round two of US-Russia talks over Ukraine and security have started on Friday, AFP reports.  Anthony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov,...
Germany wants to attract 400,000 qualified workers from abroad each year
Germany's new coalition government wants to attract 400,000 qualified workers from abroad each year to tackle both a demographic imbalance...
CSTO chief: Practical work on Armenian-Azerbaijani border delimitation needed to normalize situation
CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas on Thursday held a meeting with UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča via...
MP: Armenia must either force Azerbaijan to pull back its troops or use CSTO military component
Armenia must either force Azerbaijan to pull back its troops from Armenia's sovereign territory or ask for military assistance from the...
FBI raid on Congressman Henry Cuellar's home linked to Azerbaijan probe
The FBI on Wednesday raided Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's home and campaign office in Texas as part of a wide-ranging federal probe...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}