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#61 Yervant1


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Posted 18 November 2017 - 01:25 PM

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 18 2017
Politics 18:28 18/11/2017Armenia
The Sumgait pogrom still requires much study

“Azerbaijani’s impunity paves the way for continuation of the crimes,” Larisa Alaverdyan, the Head of "Against Illegal Arbitrariness" NGO told on Saturday at a discussion named “Sumgait 30. Unpunished crime again Humanity” held in Yerevan. 

Alaverdyan, who served as the first human rights defender of Armenia, called on the IR experts, specialists of the international law and political scientists to make use of the collected materials and hold Azerbaijan responsible, thus exercising justice. 

The manager of the project “An Ordinary Genocide” Marina Grigoryan, present at the discussion, reminded that the series of documentaries in the framework of the project has been published since November 2010 and Sumgait has been one of the main directions and topics of the project.

“Several books were published, a documentary was filmed, a website was launched and most importantly a vast archive of the Sumgait crime was created. We managed to preserve unique video recordings that were at the brink of elimination, revealed research materials and new photos - all of which come to prove an irrefutable fact that Sumgait was orchestrated by Azerbaijani authorities and special services and was a coordinated crime directed specifically toward the Armenians,” Grigoryan explained.

The expert next stressed that Sumgait is yet to be explored and studied as evidenced by the archive and trial materials.  

“We plan to realize two projects ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms with the first being a collection of eyewitness accounts by Azerbaijanis. The project will feature eyewitnesses who speak about the brutalities as recorded by Azerbaijanis themselves. The second project is a film about Sumgait children who witnessed the sufferings of their relatives,” Grigoryan informed.


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#62 Yervant1


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Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:44 AM

Aravot, Armenia
jan 28 2018
‘Teenagers involved in Sumgait Armenian massacres’: Marina Grigoryan

The next documentary on the massacres of Armenians in Sumgait on February 27-29, 1988, in the Azerbaijani SSR, which holds the provisional title “Sumgait children”, is being prepared within the framework of the “Ordinary Genocide” project.

During the discussion titled “Face of Nationalism and Xenophobia, 30 years ago and now” held at the Armenian Institute for International and Security Affairs, author of the “Ordinary Genocide” project Marina Grigoryan talked about it.

“Testimonies were heard during the trial that there were children and teenagers among the Azerbaijani murderers. The facts testify that the teenagers had the main role in those massacres. Perhaps the reason is that teenagers would avoid responsibility, but we think that in this way, they have “taught” Armenophobia to the younger generation”, Marina Grigoryan expressed conviction.

According to her, there is evidence that teenagers and children have participated in the killings of Armenians.

Marina Grigoryan also mentioned that there are factual data that the massacres of Armenians in Sumgait were organized at the state level.



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#63 Yervant1


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Posted 23 February 2018 - 11:34 AM

Panorama, Armenia
Feb 22 2018
Politics 18:40 22/02/2018Armenia
Marina Girgoryan proposes to issue int'l arrest warrants against Azeri perpetrators of Armenian pogroms

Marina Girgoryan, the project coordinator of “Ordinary Genocide” series, called for the Azerbaijani perpetrators responsible for massacres of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku and Maragha to be brought to justice by issuing international arrest warrants against them.

She made the proposal at today’s parliamentary hearings titled “The Sumgait pogroms: Armenophobia as state policy of Azerbaijan” dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms.

“I wander why until now, when 30 years have passed, an international arrest warrant has not been issued through Interpol against any of those Azerbaijani perpetrators, whose named are known. One of them is Shahin Tagiyev, the commander of Gurtulush battalion, who has been declared the first hero of Azerbaijan for committing the Maragha massacres, is today enjoying life in Sweden,” she said.   

“I have proposed to have an international arrest warrant issued against him, but unfortunately the proposal was implemented,” Girgoryan highlighted.

She also stressed the need to issue an international arrest warrant against another Azerbaijani perpetrator Ayaz Mutalibov, who was Azerbaijan’s prime minister during the Armenian massacres in Baku in January 1990.

Marina Girgoryan highlighted the Azerbaijani officer who beheaded Armenian serviceman Kyaram Sloyan during the 2016 April war must also be placed on Interpol wanted list.

“This is a crucial issue. Punishing those perpetrators will also help to prevent such crimes. These are just three names; I could have announced more names, and we obtain all the necessary evidence to prove the crimes of those people,” she said.



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#64 Yervant1


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Posted 23 February 2018 - 11:39 AM

I guess with this logic, Armenians also carried the Genocide in 1915! Absurd!!!!!


Feb 22 2018
Azerbaijan Officially Embraces Conspiracy Theory Blaming Armenians for Own Pogrom

Armenia's president, meanwhile, backed another discredited claim that Azerbaijanis massacred their own civilians in a war crime 26 years ago.

Joshua Kucera Feb 22, 2018

This February marks the 30th anniversary of the events that launched the still-simmering war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the milestone has been marked by politicized, conspiratorial distortions of history that illustrate how far the region is from an honest reckoning of what happened.

On February 22, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prosecutor General’s Office held a joint event marking the February 1988 pogroms in the city of Sumgayit, in which mobs rampaged for days, beating and killing Armenians. The violence came just days after Armenian representatives in the then-Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted (while their Azerbaijani colleagues boycotted) to ask to leave Soviet Azerbaijan and join Soviet Armenia.

The Sumgayit attacks were carried out by local Azerbaijanis, “due to a combination of what we now call 'fake news' about alleged Armenian atrocities against Azerbaijanis, enraged crowds, and a cowardly local leadership, and were made worse by a lack of decisiveness in the Kremlin,” wrote Thomas de Waal, a Caucasus scholar at Carnegie Europe, in a recent commentary marking the anniversary.

But the Azerbaijani official event told a different story, in which “Armenians living in Sumgayit tried to provocatively burn down their homes and property and blame Azerbaijanis,” according to a local media account of the event. An investigation by the prosecutors office claimed to find that a “diversion group” of 20-25 people who “weren’t residents of Sumgayit and were speaking in Armenian among themselves” instigated the attacks, said Nadir Mirzayev, a senior investigator.

The Armenians were in turn supported by the Soviet central authorities who, in this version of events, carried out other such nationalist provocations around the USSR. “The similar unrest and provocations were carried out by the KGB in Osh (Kyrgyzstan), Fergana (Uzbekistan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and other peripheral parts of the Soviet Union,” the Azerbaijani MFA said in a statement issued on the anniversary.

This is not a new conspiracy theory, but it appears to be the first time it's been embraced so formally by the government. “There's never been this sort of announcement, especially on such an official level,” wrote Azerbaijani journalist Shahin Rzayev in a public Facebook post.

Also not new is Azerbaijan's efforts to deflect attention from Sumgayit by emphasizing another February tragedy, the massacre by Armenian forces of hundreds of Muslim civilians in the village of Khojaly in 1992. Baku has exerted substantial efforts in recent years to gain international recognition of the massacre, which it often refers to as a “genocide.”

In Baku's rhetoric, however, it's the Armenians who are deflecting. “Over the years, Armenian separatists have been referring to Sumgayit events in order to justify their aggressive policy, the Khojaly genocide and other crimes committed in Azerbaijan,” said Eldar Sultanov, the prosecutor's office spokesman, speaking at the Baku event.

This year, an “action plan” put together by the presidential administration called for marking Khojaly by “holding press conferences, commemorative ceremonies at embassies, consulates and diaspora organizations of Azerbaijan in foreign countries, ensuring media coverage of these events both within the country and abroad.” The Center for Strategic Studies, a state think tank, also took the occasion to launch a new bookArmenian Fraud. The History Based on Fraud.

Armenia has responded to all of this with distortions of its own. At a February 22 hearing in Armenia's parliament on the Sumgayit massacres, speaker of parliament Ara Babloyan said that “Azerbaijani fascism surpasses Hitler's in its cruelty.”

The historical conflict spilled over into the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last month, as well, when Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan spoke and was challenged by an Azerbaijani official to account for Khojaly. Sargsyan denied that Armenians had carried out the attack, and referred to a discredited theory blaming Azerbaijan itself for the massacre. “Why do you need to call something that never occurred and was never carried out by the Armenians a ‘genocide?'” he asked.





#65 Yervant1


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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:32 AM

Armenian Weekly
Feb 27 2018
‘The Pain is Still Just as Sharp’: Remembering Sumgait 30 Years Later

By Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte on February 27, 2018


Special to the Armenian Weekly

Feb. 27 marks the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogrom—the targeted attacks on the Armenian population of the seaside town in Azerbaijan, during which widespread looting, rape, and murders ravaged the Armenian community and left up to 200 dead.


An Azerbaijani mob rushes toward the Armenian neighborhood in Sumgait, Feb. 1988 (Photo: karabakhrecords.info)

The Sumgait pogrom also marked the beginning of the violent stage of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan—a conflict that, three decades later, remains unresolved.

Less than two years after Sumgait, another pogrom against the Armenians civilian population began in Jan. 1990, in the Azerbaijani capital Baku. Between Jan. 12-19, 1990, hundreds of Armenians throughout the city were beaten, tortured, killed, and up to 200,000 were expelled from the city for good. Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte and her family were among those, who were exiled from their homeland.

The following is an excerpt from the book Nowhere, a Story of Exile, which was based on Turcotte’s diaries. The excerpt is followed by the author’s recollections of that day, 30 years later.


(R to L) The author and her mother in the summer of 1988 in Baku (Photo courtesy of Anna Turcotte)


March 14th finally arrives. Many people come to visit us, making themselves at home in our garden. They are relatives, friends and neighbors. Papa is preparing the meat and vegetables for the shashlik. Mama carries plates of different dishes and salads up the stairs to the garden. It is a little windy, but it doesn’t bother anyone because wind is a given feature on any occasion in Baku.

Mama lets me wear my hair down, which I never do; it is always in one thick, long braid down my back. I feel like an adult.

Uncle Novik’s family is there, his daughters are my favorite cousins, because we have become so close having lived together for eight whole years. Many relatives from both of my parents’ sides keep piling into our garden. My parents’ friends also show up. To me, they are like aunts and uncles because they are as close to us as relatives.

My cousin Lena, the daughter of my father’s cousin Tolik, is exactly my age. We are good friends.


The author (L) and her cousin Lena ® (Photo courtesy of Anna Turcotte)

Uncle Tolik’s mother is my Grandfather Yegishe’s sister. Her name is Maria and she is very short and old. Her hair is long and gray. She braids it and puts it in a bun, then hides it under a scarf. She reminds me of Grandma Tamara, even though she looks nothing like her. But there is something of Grandma Tamara in her. Both women are Armenian and were old friends, when Grandma was still alive. They speak Russian with a distinct Armenian accent. Their clothes—especially the dark cotton scarves, tied in the back of their heads – are worn in the same style as by most elderly Armenian women.

I wait for my Uncle Tolik, his daughters and Aunt Maria, as I call her. Everything is ready for us to sit down and celebrate.

“Where are Uncle Tolik and Aunt Maria? Weren’t they going to come?” I ask my mother.

“No, jana (sweetie in Armenian),” she answers, “Didn’t you know that they moved to Russia?”

“No, I didn’t know,” I answer in total surprise, “No one told me, where did they go?” I am not aware now that Uncle Tolik and his family, including his mother, Aunt Maria, would be the first of our clan to leave Baku.

Later I learn by listening in on the adults talking why they are the first to leave. Uncle Tolik is an engineer in a highly industrialized city in Azerbaijan, Sumgait, putting in a few weeks there and coming home to spend some time with his family, then back to Sumgait, which was right up the coast of the Caspian Sea, and so on. Around February, when he goes back to Sumgait to work, he sees something that changes his life forever. The streets are full of rubble with the remnants of things laying everywhere, like piles of furniture and clothes. He arrives there right after the lynching of Armenian residents of the city. He remains in town for a few days and hears eyewitness accounts of the massacres. Later, when he relates these events to my parents, it all sounds unreal. It couldn’t be happening to us, here, in this day and age!

The terrifying story that lingers in my mind’s eye is that of a teenage Armenian girl who is thrown out of a third-floor balcony after being stripped of her clothes and repeatedly raped. Still breathing, laying on the street, she is beaten with iron rods by the Azeri mob and her broken, naked body is set on fire to the cheers of the enraged crowd.


Astvatsaturian Turcotte kept a diary during those years, which she published in June 2012 in a book titled Nowhere, a Story of Exile (Photo courtesy of Anna Turcotte)

“The worst thing about this was that the Soviet Army that was supposed to protect Armenian families in the city from these rioting mobs, stood and watched people being robbed, humiliated, thrown out of their houses, beaten, raped, burned and killed.” Uncle Tolik tells my parents right before his family leaves the city. “The massacre did not end until late in the morning.”

After the mobs are brought under control, from his office in the Kremlin, Mikhail Gorbachev lies to the people of his nation and says that the troops were two hours late getting to Sumgait when in fact they were the silent witnesses to the atrocities.

My parents couldn’t understand what was happening. Uncle Tolik’s move was so abrupt, so unplanned. In our culture people rarely ever moved away. Violence of this nature made no sense to any of us. It must have been an isolated event, my parents reasoned; it could never happen in our civilized Baku.  

Somehow, that birthday was unlike any other that I could remember. We had fun and enjoyed good food, but something was missing, aside from an important family gone from our celebration for the first time ever. There was a feeling of tension and an altogether different atmosphere tinged with apprehension—a vague feeling, that someone was watching us.

I had the same feeling in school, even though nothing seemed to have changed. Perhaps it was only in my mind, but there was something hostile in the air, biding its time.


Three decades later, my words strike me by their raw innocence. The pain is still just as sharp as it was back in 1988—and it lingers as it does every birthday, with the memory of that day.

I wrote these words as a 10-year-old child, so hurt by a beloved uncle’s absence from my birthday party. What seemed like a small childhood disappointment turned into a lifetime of loss.

I was not merely losing an uncle; eventually, I would end up losing everything and gaining eternal questions—questions my parents couldn’t answer then and still cannot answer now.


The author (center) and her parents in Baku, 1983 (Photo courtesy of Anna Turcotte)

My birthdays were never the same after my traumatized uncle Tolik gathered his family—his wife, his two daughters, and his aging mother—and fled to never return to the city Armenians built. At the time, I did not quite understand the enormity of the change in the air. This change was about to bend the trajectory of our lives across the ocean to the other side of the planet. There was something sinister about the atmosphere as we all dined in the garden, as the adults whispered, and as the Artsakh movement was picking up speed.

And then things began to unravel.

For the next 19 long months, we lived through every painful and terrifying episode of our remaining lives in Baku, mentally going back to that unthinkable three days in Feb. 1988, when young women were burned and old men were cut and the masses of Armenians left their multi-generational homes in the seaside city of Sumgait.


Turcotte’s Nowhere, a Story of Exile is available for purchase on Amazon in English and Russian.


#66 Yervant1


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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:09 AM

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
February 28, 2018 Wednesday

Speaker: The absence of condemnation of Sumgait events caused ethnic
cleansing of Armenians in Azerbaijan

Yerevan February 28

Alexander Avanesov. The National Assembly of Armenia, at a meeting on
February 28, a minute of silence honored the memory of the innocent
victims of the Sumgayit massacres.

As the Speaker of the Parliament Ara Babloyan noted in his speech,
hundreds of Armenians were brutally killed in the Azerbaijani city of
Sumgait 30 years ago as a result of a crime organized at the state
level. The crime, planned and implemented by the Azerbaijani
authorities 30 years ago, has not yet received the appropriate
political and legal assessment from international structures.

"The absence of condemnation of the Sumgait events caused ethnic
cleansing of Armenians in Azerbaijan, and led to mass pogroms in
Kirovabad, Baku, Maragh and other Armenian settlements of Azerbaijan,"
the head of the Armenian parliament said, adding that the purpose of
mass pogroms organized by the Azerbaijani authorities was to scare
Armenians genocide and force them to abandon the national liberation
movement. Ethnic disorders in the city of Sumgait began on February
27, 1988, and lasted three days, accompanied by massive violence
against the Armenian population, looting, murder, arson and
destruction of property. According to the British journalist Tom de
Waal, who published the documentary book "Black Garden" about the
history of the Karabakh conflict in 2005, these events became "the
first in the modern Soviet history an outbreak of mass violence" .

According to official data of the Prosecutor General's Office of the
USSR, during the riots 26 citizens were killed Armenian nationality,
more than one hundred people were wounded. According to unofficial
estimates, the number of Armenians killed is hundreds. As stated in
the materials of the human rights center "Memorial", the lack of
timely investigation of the circumstances of the pogroms, the
establishment and punishment of the guilty parties led to further
escalation of the Karabakh conflict.

#67 Yervant1


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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:31 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
March 14 2018
Canadian lawmaker commemorates Sumgait pogrom
March 14, 2018 - 17:29 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Canadian lawmaker MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos recently commemorated in the Commons the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogrom, in which the ethnic Azerbaijan population attacked members of the Armenian population of the town of Sumgait, The Suburban reports.

The tragic event, which commenced on the eve of February 28th, 1988, resulted in the death of 200 Armenian men, women, and children and is considered to be the start of the Karabakh War.

Azeris planned and orchestrated the brutal massacres which targeted Armenians solely for their heritage following their peaceful protest calling for historic Armenian lands to be liberated.

The MP said the attacks took place in February 1988.

"This was a time marked by serious acts of violence, riots, and widespread looting during which Armenian civilians were attacked and killed," she explained. "This unprecedented violence shocked the entire world.

"Thirty years later, Armenians are commemorating these tragic events in which many lost their lives. This anniversary reminds us of what a privilege it is to live in a country where diversity and inclusion make us strong and where various ethnic and religious communities can participate equally in our country's political life. This anniversary also reminds us that, as Canadians, we have a duty to condemn all acts of violence and to play an active role in promoting and preserving peace in Canada and around the world."


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#68 Yervant1


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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
Jan 15 2019
Azerbaijan ramps up anti-Armenian hysteria – Elibekova
On January 13-19, 1990, the Azerbaijani authorities organized and carried out mass massacre of the Armenian population in Baku. About a quarter of a million of Armenians, on the ground of the national affiliation, were subjected to violence and deportation. Expert in Azerbaijan Anzhela Elibekova told Panorama.am Azerbaijan is not prone to recall the tragic events.

“The propaganda works in the following way; they mark January 20 as a tragic date when the Soviet tanks entered Baku to set order and prevent the massacres of the Armenian population. Azerbaijanis present it as an act of suppression of the nation’s aspirations to freedom,” Elibekova said. In her words, all of the facts and evidences of the Baku pogroms are well documented, however despite the Sumgait pogroms, the perpetrators were not brought to justice, enabling the Azerbaijani propaganda to completely distort the reality and blame Armenians and the Soviet KGB in the events which is a total absurd.
The expert reminded that over the past century three massacres (1905, 1918 and 1990) of Armenians were recorded in Baku. 

Asked about the measures Armenia should take in order to prevent from future massacres, Elibekova said: “It seems to be a complex task as we are unable to control the level of anti-Armenian histeria in Azerbaijan. What we can do maximum is to reach out to the international community and alarm about the situation where the anti-Armenian hysteria intensifies, murderers - the likes of Safarov and citizens posing with a severed head of a soldier (Kyaram Sloyan) are still glorified. Regretfully, I have no idea how we can influence developments inside the country.”

As to the possible pressure by the international community, Elibekova referred to the lack of mechanisms.

“When human rights are violated in the country, the freedom of press is suppressed there are European structures Azerbaijan members to apply to. There are number of human rights watchdogs and international media outlets periodically voicing concerns. In case with Armenophobia they, however, remain silent. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) launched proceedings over a case concerning the killings and the brutal torture of Armenian soldiers and civilians during the April war, which clearly states Armenophobia was the key motivation behind those crimes. Once the proceedings are over and the Court documents the fact of Armenophobia in its ruling we will gain a solid international legal assessment of the fact,” Elibekova explained.

A mass pogrom of Armenian population was committed in Baku from 13 to 19 January 1990 as a culmination of the genocide of the Armenians in Azerbaijan unfolded between 1988 and 1990. After the Sumgait pogroms (26-29 February 1988), persecutions, beatings, particularly cruel killings, public mockeries, pogroms of separate flats, seizure of property, forcible expulsions and illegal dismissals of Armenians started in Baku. Only some 35 or 40 thousand Armenians of the community of 250 thousand remained in Baku by January 1990; they were mainly disabled people, old and sick people and the relatives looking after them. The pogroms took an organised, targeted and mass nature since 13 January 1990. A large amount of evidence exists about the atrocities and killings committed with exceptional cruelty, including gang rapes, burnings of people alive, throwing people out of balconies of higher floors, dismemberments and beheadings.

The exact number of the victims of the genocide of the Armenians in Baku still remains unknown. According to different sources, between 150 and 400 people were murdered, and hundreds were left disabled. The pogroms went on for a week amid a total inaction of the authorities of Azerbaijan and the USSR, as well as the internal troops and the large Baku garrison of the Soviet Army. Those who managed to avoid death were forced into deportation. The Soviet troops were deployed to set order in Baku only on 20 January 1990.



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