Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

February 26-29, 1988 were the days when Azerbaijani authorities
organized and committed mass-pogroms and massacres against the Armenian
population in Sumgait, Azerbaijan. It was the first ethnic cleansing
campaign that Azeri nationalists committed in response to peaceful
manifestation of Karabakh Armenians for self-determination.

Going unpunished, it became a precursor for further bloody episodes
of ethic cleansings perpetrated by Azeri authorities in Kirovabad,
Mingechaur, Baku and elsewhere around Azerbaijan along with later
full-scale military aggression against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,

In a result of genocidal actions of Azerbaijan's authority in Sumgait,
dozens of Armenians were brutally killed, majority of whom were
set afire alive after being beaten and tortured. Official number
of victims stated 36, while other independent sources reported more
than a hundred victims. Global media including the New York Times,
Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times and many others also reported
about those bloody days of Sumgait.

That crime against humanity committed by the Azerbaijani government
has remained unpunished. No adequate political and legal evaluation was
provided due to the lack of interest of the Central Soviet government
in restoring the truth and punishing real organizers. A few criminal
cases and sentencing of a couple of hooligans were only aimed at
slurring over those crimes.

Instead of repenting for its actions, Azerbaijan tries to escape
responsibility for committing the Sumgait genocide by shifting
attention to the Armenian side. The Azerbaijani government
continues misinforming global community by spreading outrageous
lies about the killings of civilians of Khojaly by Armenian
forces[]. In reality, those innocent
Azeri civilians, who managed to leave Khojaly area of military actions
via peace corridor provided by Armenian forces, were cold-heartedly
killed by Azeri Popular Front's troops near Azerbaijan-controlled
Aghdam, a town seven miles away from Khojaly, for the internal struggle
for control of power in the oil-rich Azerbaijan.

Today, the international community risks repeating the
mistakes of the central Soviet government by not condemning
the Armenian genocide in Sumgait, but also crimes against
[]its own Azeri people. Today's
bellicose rhetoric and aggressive policy of Azerbaijan is a direct
result of the lack of conviction of those crimes committed by
Azerbaijan against humanity.