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Sumgait Massacre: 32 Years Passed

Beatings and killings of the Armenians in the town of Sumgait, which is 30 minutes drive from the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, reached their peak on February 27-29, 1988. This was a wave of anti-Armenian activities that was spread in the entire Azerbaijan in 1988. With a list in their hands, prepared in advance, Azeris were breaking into the houses of the Armenians and killing them cruelly. Soviet leadership was silent; no one gave a hand to the Armenians. As a result of three-day-massacre more than 100 people were killed and dozens were left injured. The massacre of Armenian civilians was carried out with unimaginable cruelty: many of them were tortured to death, corpses were burned. It was only on February 29 that the Soviet army entered Sumgait, but it was already too late. In such permissiveness and impunity Azeris did what they were ordered in advance…

Azerbaijani authorities did everything to conceal their crime; no adequate legal or political evaluation was given to the crime. However, the documents that exist, the testimonies of witnesses come to prove that the pogroms were organizes on  governmental level.

Sumgait and later on Baku massacres (1990) left hundreds of Armenians dead. These massacres were a brutal answer to the peaceful demonstrations of the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, who were demanding self-determination.

On July 7, 1988, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the massacre in Sumgait. The resolution is read as following: “Having regard to the historic status of the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh (80 % of whose present population is Armenian) as part of Armenia, to the arbitrary inclusion of this area within Azerbaijan in 1923 and to the massacre of Armenians in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait in February 1988, the deteriorating political situation, which has led to anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and serious acts of violence in Baku, which in itself is a threat to the safety of the Armenians living in Azerbaijan, condemns the violence employed against Armenian demonstrators in Azerbaijan.”

Though 32 years have passed from Sumgait massacre, Azerbaijani authorities still continue their anti-Armenian policy and aggression. Despite the existing ceasefire, Azerbaijanis every day shoot on the borders, on villages and kill not only our soldiers, but also civilians. Not much has changed, but the world is still silent…


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