BAKU (Panorama)—Vandals reportedly attacked a Christian Orthodox cemetery in the Sabunchi municipality of Baku on the evening of June 5. According to a letter sent to Voskanapat.info, individual headstones of graves were destroyed, as well as the tombstones of “mass graves”.
According to police officers, the tombstones—20 in total—had been broken and taken out of the cemetery on the night of June 5. When asked who could have been responsible, they said, “Possibly those who are interested in that stone.”
“There is an impression that we arrived at a rare wilderness on the offsets of Azerbaijan. The narrow, jolty and dusty country roads, often ending in deadlocks, are practically deserted because of intense heat and dust,” the letter said of the site of the cemetery in Baku.
The cemetery in Sabunchi is part of a larger memorial park. It is the most recent target in a string of attacks on Christian cemeteries in Azerbaijan in recent years.
In November 2013, Russian-language internet sites in Azerbaijan were riled by the destruction of Azerbaijan’s largest Russian-Armenian Christian cemetery, the Narimani cemetery in Baku, also known as ‘Montino’ to local residents.
Tombstones and headstones from the Narimani cemetery were discovered to have been removed and used in construction projects in the Rasulzade settlement in Baku. The cemetery was later completely destroyed by bulldozers. According to reports, epitaphs and portraits of the deceased were left on stones and could still be seen on new construction.
Apartment buildings have since replaced the Narimani cemetery.
In 2014, a letter sent to Minval.az from a resident of Baku’s Khazar district told of the neglect and plight of the Orthodox cemetery in the Bina settlement. According to the letter, locals had turned the cemetery into a garbage dump and used it to graze cattle and small livestock.