STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—The Parliament of the Republic of Artsakh issued the following statement on Feb. 28, on the 30th anniversary of the massacre of the Armenian population of Sumgait.
On 27-29 February 1988, atrocities against and the forced deportation of the Armenian population was carried out by Azerbaijani authorities in Sumgait, just 30 kilometers from Baku. Hundreds of Armenians—mostly women, children and elderly citizens—were killed in a pre-planned massacre; thousands more were forcibly deported and their properties were plundered.
This crime committed in Sumgait was yet another manifestation of the policy of discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and expulsion of the Armenian population, which, following the example of Nakhichevan, was carried out with impunity by the Azerbaijani authorities during the Soviet period. These later continued in Baku, Gandzak (Kirovabad), and other Armenian settlements of Northern Artsakh. Through these atrocities, the authorities in Baku kept the Armenians of Eastern Transcaucasia hostage and threatened the Armenian population of Artsakh, who took a stand to defend its rights. The national liberation struggle, which was unfolding in Artsakh at the time, was launched put an end to the Azerbaijani authorities’ policy of genocide and its oppression of the Armenian people and their national dignity.
Paying tribute to the memory of the innocent Armenians who fell victim to the genocidal acts in Sumgait and knowing, full-well, that the impunity for the pogroms and massacre of the Armenian population, which were organized at state level, led to new crimes by Azerbaijan and the waging of a war against the people of the newly independent Nagorno-Karabagh 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;
Urges parliamentary structures and international human rights organizations to condemn the genocidal acts committed by Baku against the Armenians of Azerbaijan, on this, the 30th anniversary of mass pogroms and atrocities against the Armenian population of Sumgait.
Feb. 28, 2018