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Assembly's Statement on Anniversary of Armenian Pogroms Committed by Azerbaijan

Aided by Turkey, Russia, Israel, and Pakistan,

Aliyev Regime Continues Armenian Genocide Into 2024

Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) commemorates the 36th anniversary of the Sumgait pogrom, a ruthless massacre against the Armenian population in the former Soviet Azerbaijan. The uncontrolled mob violence committed against its peaceful Armenian population continued from February 26, 1988, until March 1, 1988, and resulted in the vicious killing of civilians, extensive destruction of property, and mass deportation of Armenians. The pogrom was reported in mainstream media, and set the pattern of the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from all across Azerbaijan that continues to this day.

Following the Sumgait pogrom, Armenians were methodically targeted in Azerbaijan's cities of Kirovabad (1988) and Baku (1990), and across the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous District, including Shushi and Stepanakert, causing hundreds of thousands of Armenians to be forcibly displaced to escape the massacres, while being stripped of their properties, businesses, financial resources, and cultural heritage sites. The underlying cause of the anti-Armenian riots and violence was due to the Armenian people's appeals for Artsakh's self-determination, which was supported by human rights advocates from around the world, including by Nobel Prize-winning physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, who stated that "Armenian people are again facing the threat of genocide."

As a consequence of the failure to hold Azerbaijan responsible for its ethnic cleansing policies against Armenians, history repeated itself in 2020, when the Aliyev regime launched the 44-day war on Artsakh, with the full and open support of Turkey and jihadist mercenaries, when thousands of Armenians were killed, forcibly displaced, and subjected to internationally banned cluster munitions, lethal drones, and white phosphorus bombs, as documented by Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

The 2020 war was followed by further human rights violations, when Azbebaijan blocked the Lachin Corridor in late 2022 into 2023, and caused a man-made humanitarian crisis. Azerbaijan ignored the International Court of Justice's ruling, destroyed cultural heritage sites, unlawfully detained civilian hostages, abused prisoners of war, and continued its atrocities and ethnic cleansing against the Armenian people until it caused the complete depopulation of Artsakh of its Armenian population in the Fall of 2023.

On the 36th anniversary of the Sumgait pogrom, the Assembly commemorates those who lost their lives in 1988 and 1990, as well as the Armenian people of Artsakh, who were killed in 2020 and 2023, as they defended their ancestral lands. The Assembly calls for Azerbaijan to be held accountable for its heinous crimes against humanity.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


NR# 2024-05

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