STEPANAKERT—In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Armenian pogroms in Baku, the National Assembly of Artsakh has issued an address condemning the tragedy.
Describing the violence and deadly acts against the around 400,000 Armenian community as a crime tantamount to Genocide, it has called for a fair legal assessment and accountability measures by international organizations.
“The scenario of the 1988 violence in Sumgait actually repeated itself in Baku in 1990, leaving the city without any Armenians,” the statement said.
“The massacres and rapes against the Armenian population of Baku fall within the legal definition of the [UN] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
“The state level terrorism continued also in Nagorno-Karabakh whose predominantly Armenian population was subjected to the “Ring” operation perpetrated by Azerbaijan’s ruling elite from April to August 1991 and leaving 24 Armenian villages displaced, destroyed and [damaged by] fire.
“It was only thanks to the Artsakh-Armenians’ defense that the Azerbaijani policies targeted at the Armenian population’s displacement and mass killing never became a reality.
“Twenty-five years have passed since the Armenian people’s displacement from Baku. Over this period, Azerbaijan cynically distorts the story of ‘black January’s’ in an attempt to erase traces of the ethnic Armenian population from Baku.
“Bowing to the memory of the innocent Armenians who fell victim to the Baku massacres, we condemn any manifestation of ethnic intolerance, xenophobia and extremism; reaffirm that the Artsakh Republic will consistently follow that the organizers and perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide plot, mass killings, and war crimes in Azerbiajn be held accountable in accordance with the norms of international law; and call upon the United Nations, Council of Europe, the OSCE and the parliaments of the countries co-chairing its Minsk Group to condemn and give a legal assessment to the Armenian populations pogroms in Baku,” reads the statement.
The document was signed by all the political factions represented in the Nagorno-Karabakh legislature.
Meanwhile, Artsakh’s presidential spokesman David Babayan condemned the latest bout of attacks from Azerbaijani armed forces on Artsakh, calling them “unprecedented,” Public Radio of Armenian (ArmRadio.am) reports. Babayan described Azerbaijan as a subversive, fascist state by nature, saying that fascist states always resort to such aggressive steps.
“As a result, a unique situation has been established, in which the Aliyev clan has made Armenia and Artsakh the target of its aggression on the outer front, at the same time robbing its people and persecuting the political activists at home,” Babayan said.
“With such policy the rival tries to terrorize Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia, to show Armenians that living in frontline settlements is dangerous,” he added.
Babayan did not rule out that these attacks by Azerbaijan will continue, but added that Baku’s attempts would fail.
“We must be united to prove that we are stronger. The Nagorno Karabakh Republic has applied to the OSCE,” Babayan said. “President Bako Sahakian met with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk yesterday and told him that such behavior by Azerbaijan poses a threat not only to the regional situation, but also the whole international community, therefore, it’s necessary to take harsher steps.”
“We rely upon our forces to struggle against the enemy, but the mediating countries should also adopt a strong policy on the issue,” the spokesman said.
According to Babayan, Azeri attacks on the night of Jan. 20 against the background of the brutal killing spree in Gyumri were not accidental. “Instability leads to aggression on the part of the enemy,” he said.
“The enemy makes use of these developments. It sees that the Gyumri events have shocked Armenia and Artsakh, and uses the opportunity to launch an insult,” Babayan said.