A statement on the 30th anniversary of the massacre of the Armenian population of Sumgait, Azerbaijan, was adopted at Wednesday’s plenary sitting of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/NKR) National Assembly.
“On 27-29 February 1988, atrocities against and forced deportation of the Armenian population was carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities in Sumgait, just 30 kilometers from Baku,” the statement reads. “Hundreds of Armenians, mostly women, children and elderly people fell victim to a pre-planned massacre; thousands of Armenians were forcibly deported and their property—plundered.
“The crime committed in Sumgait was another manifestation of the policy of discrimination, ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Armenian people, which, following the example of Nakhichevan, was carried out with impunity by the Azerbaijani authorities during the Soviet period. It later continued in Baku, Gandzak (Kirovabad) and other Armenian settlements of Northern Artsakh. By these atrocities, the Baku authorities threatened the Artsakh Armenians stood to defend their rights, and keeping the Armenians of Eastern Transcaucasia as a hostage. Meanwhile, the national liberation struggle that was unfolding in Artsakh in those days was called to put an end to the infringements of national dignity of the Armenian people and the genocidal policy of the Azerbaijani authorities.
“Paying tribute to the memory of the innocent Armenians who fell victim to the genocide in Sumgait and being convinced that the impunity for the pogroms and massacre of the Armenian population organized at state level led to new crimes and a war by Azerbaijan against the people of the newly independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic condemns any manifestation of discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance; believes that official Baku continues to pursue a policy of genocide, the latest evidence of which were crimes committed against the civilian population of Artsakh in April 2016; reaffirms that the Artsakh Republic will be consistent in restoring and protecting the rights of Azerbaijani Armenians who were exposed to violence and deportation; [and] urges parliamentary structures and international human rights organizations, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of mass pogroms and atrocities against the Armenian population of Sumgait, to condemn the genocidal acts committed by Baku against the Armenians of Azerbaijan.”