Armenia Commemorates Sixteenth Anniversary of Sumgait Massacres

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A ceremony commemorating the sixteenth anniversary of the Sumgait massacres will be held today at memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Dzidzerngapert. After the observance–participants will march to the embassies of Russia–France–and the US–as well as UN offices–in protest of the brutal organized aggression against the people of Karabagh’s orderly call for self-determination.

The pogroms of Sumgait Armenia’s in February 1988 were the first instance of ethnic cleansing in what was still Soviet territory. The assault on Armenia’s living in Sumgait (a city located a half an hour drive away from the Azerbaijani capital–Baku) took place in broad daylight–witnessed by numerous casual observers and passers by. The peak of the atrocities committed by the Azeris took place February 27 to 29–in 1988. The events were preceded by a wave of anti-Armenian statemen’s and rallies that swept over Azerbaijan in February 1988

Documents corroborating the Sumgait massacres are currently in the hands of authorities throughout 12 former republics of the Soviet Union–where legal proceedings were launched.

Speaking to the press on Thursday–a group of Armenian intellectuals were confident that the legal documen’s will serve to not only inform the international community of the grave crimes–but will also prove the pogroms were organized and carried out by the authorities of Soviet Azerbaijan. "Armenian authorities must consistently remind the international community of Sumgait and other crimes towards Armenia’s," stressed writer Zori Balayan.

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