Marking the 15th anniversary of massacre of Armenia’s in Baku–Azerbaijan–a line of public organizations appealed to citizens–as well as to the government of Armenia–on Thursday–to do their utmost to guarantee the safety and the rights of those Armenia’s still living in Azerbaijan.
Recalling the barbarity of 1990 pogroms against Armenia’s in Baku–Armenia’s Policy Research Academy–the Shahumian–Ketashen Compatriotic Union–the Center for Advancement of a Civil Community–among other organizations state that the plight of Azerbaijan’s Armenia’s–the Azeri government’s policy of repression–has not properly been introduced to the international community in the fifteen years since those massacres.
They call on Armenian intellectuals–government forces–non-governmental organizations–and political forces to work together to unite efforts–and do guarantee the human rights of Armenia’s still living in Azerbaijan.
In November and December 1988–a wave of Armenian pogroms swept Azerbaijan. The worst took place in Baku–Kirovabad (Ganja)–Shemakh–Shamkhor–Mingechaur–and Nakhichevan. The Soviet press described how–in Kirovabad–perpetrators broke in a hospice for the elderly–captured and subsequently killed 12 old Armenian men and women–including several disabled ones. In the winter of 1988–all Armenia’s were deported from dozens of Armenian villages in Azerbaijan. The same fate befell more than 40 Armenian settlemen’s in the northern part of Karabagh–outside the borders of the autonomous region which was demanding self–determination–including the mountainous regions of Khanlar–Dashkesan–Shamkhor–and Kedabek provinces. The 40,000 Armenia’s of Azerbaijan’s third largest city–Ganja–were also forcibly removed from their homes. When it was over–there were less than 50,000 Armenia’s left in Baku–out of a total population of 215,000.
Throughout 1989–sporadic attacks–beatings–looting–and massacres in Baku reduced that number to 30,000–mostly the elderly who could not leave Baku. By early January 1990–Armenian pogroms in Baku intensified and became more organized. On January 13–a 50,000-strong crowd left a rally–broke into groups–and started methodically–house by house–’cleansing’ the city of its Armenia’s.
Pogroms continued until January 15. The total number of casualties during the first three days amounted to 33 people. The Soviet press had daily reports of indescribable horror–dissecting bodies–ripping open the abdomens of pregnant women–burning people alive–with a daily tally of murders in full view of the authorities.
Russia’s Soyuz magazine reported that one man was literally torn apart–and his remains thrown in a garbage container. According to various sources–several hundred Armenia’s were killed. The remainder–mostly older Armenia’s–were forcibly removed–with many dying during and after deportation. Pogroms continued until January 20 when army troops were brought to Baku. By then–the city was fully ‘liberated’ from ‘Armenian elemen’s’ except for a couple of hundred Armenia’s in mixed-marriages. During the military conflict over Karabagh–the latter were literally ‘fished out’ for exchange with Azeri POWs.