Thursday, February 27 2020 18:04
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Ombudsman: The massacre in Sumgait was only one of the episodes of  the genocide committed against the Armenians of Azerbaijan

Ombudsman: The massacre in Sumgait was only one of the episodes of  the genocide committed against the Armenians of Azerbaijan

ArmInfo.The Sumgait massacre was just one of the episodes of the genocide committed against the Armenians of Azerbaijan. This was stated by Artsakh  Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan during his speech in Askeran at an event  dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the pogroms in Sumgait.

"The Armenians in Sumgait suffered brutal reprisals, which was the  response of the Azerbaijani authorities to the Artsakh movement.  After Sumgait, mass pogroms continued in other settlements of  Azerbaijan and Artsakh. For several years, thousands of Armenians  were killed, hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes  only because of their ethnicity.

To this day, the international community has not given a proper legal  and political assessment of these acts, and the Republic of Artsakh  continues to be consistent in the issue of receiving compensation  from Azerbaijan for the Armenian Genocide, as well as holding the  organizers of these acts accountable. We all understand that this  danger remains in the region to this day, and the Armenian-phobic  policy of Azerbaijan at the state level is vivid proof of this, and  the strong Armenian statehood and the Armed Forces are a guarantee of  the prevention of new crimes, "Artak Beglaryan emphasized.  To  recalll, ethnic cleansing occurred in the city of Sumgait, Azerbaijan  SSR on February 27-29, 1988. It was accompanied by massive violence  against the Armenian population, robberies, killings, arson and  destruction. According to the British journalist Thomas de Waal,  these events were "the first outbreak of mass violence in modern  Soviet history." The Sumgait pogrom was a landmark event and a  turning point in the exacerbation of the interethnic conflict in the  Caucasus, which caused the first flows of Armenian refugees from  Sumgait to Stepanakert and in Armenia. According to official data  from the USSR Prosecutor General's Office, 26 citizens of Armenian  nationality were killed in the riots, more than a hundred people were  injured. According to unofficial estimates, hundreds of Armenians  were killed.  During the clean-up operation, injuries of varying  severity were received by 276 servicemen. On February 29, 1988, at a  meeting of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee in Moscow, it  was officially recognized that the mass pogroms and killings in  Sumgait were carried out on a national basis.

However, as indicated in the materials of the Memorial human rights  center, the lack of a timely investigation into the circumstances of  the pogroms, the establishment and punishment of those responsible  led to a further escalation of the Karabakh conflict. 

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