Politics 11:23 28/02/2020 Armenia

Armenian leaders pay tribute to victims of Sumgait pogroms

A group of senior Armenian officials, led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, visited on Friday the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex in Yerevan to pay tribute to the innocent victims of the Sumgait pogroms on the 32nd anniversary of the tragedy.

After laying flowers at the memorial, Catholicos Karekin II and other clergymen accompanying him offered prayers.

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 by 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.

At 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 did the military units take up decisive steps.

The exact number of victims of Sumgait pogroms is still unknown. According to official data, 32 people 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 KGB in Azerbaijan. Executioners of Sumgait were subsequently declared as national heroes of Azerbaijan.



Source Panorama.am
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