THE STATEMENT OF THE COMMISIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE rEPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN ON THE 24TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGEDY OF JANUARY 20,1990.

The aggressive act of 20 January committed 24 years ago is, in fact, a grave crime against humanity. This date, that has engraved on to our memory as a Black January, is a Day of Mourning of the martyrs as well as of the fight of the country’s territorial integrity, unity and solidarity.

As every crime, this crime had also its own instigators and executors. Since 1988, the encouraged by the former Soviet State Armenian separatists in the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast,gradually removing the government organizations of this autonomous oblast from the authority of our country due to bias against Azerbaijan,deportation of Azerbaijanis from their historical-ethnic lands in Armenia exhausted the patience of our people. To the protests of the people of Azerbaijan, the Soviet Army perpetrated this massacre to punish Azerbaijanis.

Later on the night of 20 January 1990,armoured vehicles,military forces,entered the Baku, Sumgait cities and the some other regions of the country without a prior notification. According to the instructions by the USSR leaders, military forces entered the Baku city killed 147 unarmed civilians mercilessly regardless their nationality, age and sex. 744 innocent persons were injured in the capital city,surrounding settlements, and in districts, the hundreds were disappeared and 841 persons were unlawfully imprisoned.

The peaceful people demanding the restoration of their constitutional rights were murdered by the armed forces, but they failed to break the will of the people and this fight for freedom resulted with re-gaining the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991.

The National Leader Haydar Aliyev demanded to give political assessment to the crime against humanity committed in January 20 tragedy and to punish perpetrators.At the initiative of the National Leader who proclamation that date as the Day of National Mourning,the national Parliament for the first time gave political and assessment to this event.The tragedy victims were buried in the Martyrs’ Alley,which became the sacred place in Baku and in other various districts of Azerbaijan. Our people always highly appreciate the fight for national freedom of the people and paid tribute to the graves of those martyrs’.

We do hope that the world community, international organizations will support the justified demands of Azerbaijan, and this grievous crime against humanity will receive international recognition as a bloody event against humanity and the perpetrators will be punished soon.

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