Armenia Remembers the Unpunished Crime of Sumgait

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Armenia’s gathered at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial on Saturday to remember the beginning of a brutal campaign to systematically rid Azerbaijani cities of Armenia’s that began 21 years ago with pogroms in the industrial city of Sumgait.

The memorial service, organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, rallied Armenia’s to pay their respects to the yet unpunished crime, which was followed by equally violent pogroms in the Azeri cities of Kirovabad, Baku and later in the Northern Shahoumian district of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Azerbaijan has managed to turn the events upside down, presenting the victim as an aggressor, said Armen Rutamian, the chairman of the ARF’s Supreme Council of Armenia and a deputy in Armenia’s parliament. “Nagorno Karabakh should achieve its right for self-determination and Azerbaijan cannot avoid it.”

The international community should recognize and respect The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s hard won independence, he added, stressing the need to step up efforts to gain international recognition for Karabakh’s statehood.

The pogroms, which sparked the Karabakh conflict, were a direct response to Armenia’s’ expression of their right to self-determination in 1988, when hundreds of thousands of Armenian demonstrators daily urged the Kremlin to allow Nagorno-Karabakh to be a part of Armenia.

According ARF National Assembly Deputy Armen Rustamyan, the sacred struggle for the international recognition of Nagorno Karabakh should be carried through.

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