Azerbaijani Massacres of Armenians in Sumgait and Baku Remembered in DC

Protest at Azerbaijani Embassy Calls Attention to Ongoing Aggression Against Armenia and Karabagh

WASHINGTON—On Feb. 25, Greater Washington, D.C. area Armenian Americans honored the memory of the victims of Azerbaijani aggression during a grassroots protest in support of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabagh.

A scene from the DC protest honoring the victims of the Sumgait and Baku massacres in 1988 and 1990.

The demonstration, organized by the Greater Washington Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) “Ani” Chapter and the St. Mary’s Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO), coincided with the 23rd anniversary of the Azerbaijani pogroms against the Armenian population of Sumgait, which set the stage for attacks in Baku in 1990 and a cycle of anti-Armenian violence that continues to this day. The demonstrators also called special attention to Azerbaijan’s destruction of the 1,300-year-old Armenian cemetery in Djulfa, Nakhichevan, demolishing thousands of intricately carved cross-stones (khatchkars). A similar protest was organized in Ottawa, Canada earlier this week, and more are scheduled in capitals around the world.

“We have joined together today to call attention to the Sumgait and Baku massacres in the hopes of preventing future such atrocities,” said ACYO member Samvel Hayrapetyan. “Our message is clear—oil revenue does not trump Karabagh’s right to self-determination. Armenians worldwide are united in the defense of the fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh.”

Azerbaijani violence against neighboring Nagorno-Karabagh reached an all-time high last year since the 1994 ceasefire, with over 30 killed along the line of contact. The Aliyev regime’s threats of war continue, as the country’s defense budget soars to over $3 billion a year.

“Despite international mediation efforts, Aliyev continues his calls for a military solution to the Karabagh conflict, threatening prospects for peace in the region,” said AYF “Ani” Chapter chairman Arpa Vartanian. “Since 1991, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic has worked tirelessly to build a democratic and peaceful society, in the shadow of Azerbaijan’s aggression. The Sumgait and Baku massacres remind us all that a return to Azerbaijan’s dictatorial regime is simply impossible.”

Photos from the protest can be viewed on the AYF Eastern Region and ANCA Facebook pages at!/album.php?aid=273592&id=16968936858 and!/ayfeast.


  1. Azeris started the cycle of violence when they massacred  100s of defenseless, unarmed Armenian families hiding in their apartments in Sumgait and Baku. Mobs had lists of precise addresses of where Armenian families were in these mixed ethnicity apartment buildings, proving that the Azeri government had organized the massacres and provided the lists from official census records to the mobs.
    As to Hocali: when you guys remember the victims of Sumgait and Baku massacres, we can discuss Hocali; remember, Sumgait and Baku happened first. You, Azeris, started killing unarmed Armenian civilians in response to peaceful demonstrations in Yerevan and Stepanakert.
    Second: I am sure you have heard who Mr. Eynulla Fatullayev is. He was (falsely) convicted of defamation after writing two articles that disputed the official – manufactured –  account of the 1992 mass killings of Azerbaijani civilians in the town of Khojaly. I also sure you have  heard of Mr. Ayaz Mutalibov, the First President of Azerbaijan, and what he has said about Khojali, and the Azeri opposition, and the attempts to frame him and all that….

  2. Murat,
    Xocali propaganda campaign is well exposed at
    Please view this site and the evidence of Sultan Aliev’s KGB daddy involvement in the event.
    Also, read a very detailed witness account of what happened in Xocali and compare it to the Azeri propaganda hysteric that focuses on deaths that happened far away from that place near the Armenian town of Akna (formerly known as Agdam by the Azeri-Turk invaders), the territory that was under Azeri army (34,000 troops!) control at the time of the incident and that remained under the Azeri control for more then a year (until the Summer of 1993) when it was liberated by the Artsakh Army.

  3. “Remember Hocali also while at it…”, writes Murat. Without giving a da** to who started massacring, burning people alive, throwing people from high-rise buildings, raping teenager girls in front of hundreds of onlookers, stripping old women, beheading and chopping people to pieces. The perpetrators were the Azeri Turks and the innocent victims were Armenians, simply because they were Armenians. Note the chronology: anti-Armenian pogroms and massacres first occurred in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait in February 1988, then in the Azerbaijani town of Kirovabad in November 1988, and then in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku in January 1990. The Hocali (Khojaly) tragedy happened in 25-26 February of 1992. Murat, are you listening? Are you capable of grasping the barbarism of the Azeri Turks that happened BEFORE the Hocali (Khojaly) event? Also, I’d be interested to know: when you, Turks, or your Azeri sort, mass murder innocent people of non-Turkic origin, do you expect these people to hail you for that? Or it eventually occurs to you that barbarism will sooner or later be retaliated?

  4. Manooshag,
    We would have to treat the pipelines very carefully as they would be essential part of the reparations paid by what will be left of Azerbaijan for its aggression against Artsakh.  After all, they transport oil and gas from other countries, not just the artificially created “Azerbaijan Republikasi.”
    However, the Caspian Sea oilfields belonging to Sultan Aliyev will be destroyed immediately.

  5. The witness account can usually be found at the site in English and Russian:
    Unfortunately, this site is constantly under attack by Azerbaijan government.  The article has been reprinted on many other sites e.g. or you can search for:
    Glorious Victory of Armenian Weaponry
    By Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan

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