Stepanakert Says Baku has Elevated Armenophobia to State Policy

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Azeri troops with tanks in the streets of Baku (Source: Public Radio of Armenia)

Azeri troops with tanks in the streets of Baku (Source: Public Radio of Armenia)

On the 30th anniversary of the Baku Pogroms, the Artsakh foreign ministry issued a statement warning that official Baku has elevated Armenophobia to a state policy.

Below is the statement.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Armenian pogroms in Baku, one of the most tragic episodes of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict. On January 13, 1990, the targeted oppression of the Armenians of Baku turned into a widespread and organized massacre.

Chanting the slogans “Glory to the heroes of Sumgait!”, “Long live Baku without Armenians!”, a crowd of thousands, having divided into groups led by activists of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan (PFA), embarked upon methodically “cleansing” the city of Armenians house by house. Evidence abounds on atrocities and murders committed with extreme cruelty.

Those who managed to escape death were subjected to forced deportation. Thousands of Armenians were brought to the port of Krasnovodsk city in Turkmen SSR by a ferry across the Caspian Sea, and were later sent to Armenia and Russia by airplanes.

The massacres continued for an entire week in the conditions of complete inactivity of Azerbaijani authorities, internal troops and Baku’s large garrison of the Soviet Army.

On January 18, on the occasion of the massacres of Armenians in Baku, as well as armed attacks on the Armenian villages of Shahumyan region and Getashen, the European Parliament adopted a resolution titled “On the Situation in Armenia”, which called for the authorities of the USSR to guarantee real protection of the Armenian population living in Azerbaijan by sending forces to intervene in the situation.

Units of the Soviet Army were deployed to the capital of Azerbaijani SSR only in the night of 20 January 1990 that stopped the pogroms, overcoming the fierce resistance of armed units of the PFA.

The Baku pogroms became one of the bloodiest mass crimes against the Armenian population in a series of pogroms, deportations, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity carried out in Azerbaijan since February 1988. According to various sources, 150 to 300 people died as a result of the massacre.

We condemn the permanent denial by the Azerbaijani authorities of the genocidal acts and the heroization of the performers, which has become an integral part of Baku’s policy of promoting xenophobia and hatred towards Armenians.

Today, Armenophobia and the promotion of hate crimes against Armenians have been elevated to the rank of state policy in Azerbaijan and penetrated into all spheres of public life in this country, thus causing serious changes in the consciousness of the Azerbaijani society.

The problem of xenophobia toward Armenians in Azerbaijan has reached such proportions that it has become one of the key sources of threat to regional stability and security.

In order to overcome these negative processes and prevent an even greater complication of the problem of xenophobia in Azerbaijan, implementation of a set of measures, with the support of the international community, will be necessary, which will allow Azerbaijani society to get rid of the hate norms and guidelines imposed by the authorities.

An important step in the process of eradicating the negative phenomena caused by the years-long propaganda of hatred towards Armenians could be the recognition by the Azerbaijani authorities of responsibility for the mass crimes committed against the Armenian population, including the Baku pogroms. This will not only improve the situation in Azerbaijan itself, but also create prerequisites for establishing lasting peace in the region.


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  1. Ararat said:

    The recognition by the Azerbaijani authorities of responsibility for the mass crimes committed against the Armenians in the hopes of eradicating the deliberate and institutionally manufactured hatred towards the Armenians is a pipe dream. How is this possible when the very same authorities make claims publically and preach to their unsuspecting and misinformed population that not only Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh but that all Armenians throughout the world are the enemies of this artificial gas station of Azerbaijan? It is not going to happen. Their TRUE intentions are and have always been to rid Armenians from Armenian-populated territories and lay claims to them. They learned it from their genocidal Central Asian Turkish step cousins in occupied Western Armenia. It is not by any coincidence that their racist anti-Armenian leaders coin phrases that falsely portray themselves as two states and one nation. Statements like that are euphemisms for pan-Turkic and anti-Armenian evil agenda for creating a common border between the two, between genocidal Turkey and artificial Azerbaijan, by removing Armenians from the region and eliminating Armenia off the map.

    What we need to do is to have official remembrance days for the Armenian victims, like the one mentioned in this article, and actively expose their crimes against our peaceful populations in international arena. We need to expose their lies and counter their anti-Armenian rallies. As a defeated and humiliated artificial state, they have massive appetite for racist anti-Armenian activities, lies and propaganda. We need to starve them to death. We need to sober up and call them for what they truly are and that is a bunch of terrorists with genocidal agenda. This is a nation that gives hero’s welcome to ax-murderers and medals to terrorists slitting the throats of an old Armenian couple in their 80s inside their own residence. If they could indiscriminately murder Armenian citizens of their artificial state, having nothing to do with the politics of the day, and in collaboration with their internal police force, then you can surely believe that their true intention is not just what they claim publicly but that it is the complete eradication of the Armenian nation. The desecration and complete destruction in 2005 of the 1,300-year old ancient Armenian cemetery in Julfa, across the border from Iran, and building a military training camp in its place is another example of this reality.

    We need to strengthen our armed forces and provide them with massive and state-of-the-art lethal weapons with full intention of using them to make them think twice about their evil intentions. We must not think twice about making preemptive strikes on them either. You never appease a bully. What you do is to hold your ground and punch the bully in the face. Be armed to the teeth and never back down!