Freedom of speech and press in Azerbaijan

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Embassy Magazine: Azerbaijan continues looking for scapegoats in Khojalu fiasco

Embassy Magazine: Azerbaijan continues looking for scapegoats in Khojalu fiasco
Embassy Magazine famous Canadian newspaper published an article titled, “Azerbaijan Continues Looking for Scapegoats in the Khojalu Fiasco”.

“Karabakh, heart of Armenia, was inexplicably snatched from Armenia in a sinister stroke of the pen by Joseph Stalin and placed under the jurisdiction of Soviet Azerbaijan as an “autonomous province”: a game of political expediency by the newly established Soviet authorities in the early 1920s to gain favours from the newly emerging Turkey and extend Soviet inference among its Turkic neighbours.

Karabakh, which was 90% Armenian-populated, never ceased complaining to the Central authorities in Moscow and expressing dissatisfaction over Azeri treatment, and continued lobbying for realization of its aspirations to be part of the motherland, Armenia.

Hundreds of thousands Armenians demonstrated in 1988 urging the Kremlin for action and the return of Karabakh to its rightful owner, Armenia. In response, the slaughter of Armenians was unleashed in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and continued for a week before Soviet troops were brought in to end the violence. Baku was emptied of its 250.000 Armenians, an industrious and loyal minority. Similar massacres of cleansing were organized in the Azeri cities of Sumgait and Kirovabad and later in the Shahumian district of Karabakh. As the Soviet Union disintegrated, fighting erupted all over Karabakh. It was a superhuman struggle of life and death for Armenians again in the belief that force cannot constitute the basis of rights.

As the fighting continued, the Azeris started creating myths in order to rationalize their defeat. The most sordid of these fictitious scenarios was one about Khojalu.

Eighteen years have passed since the alleged February 26 Khojalu massacres. Today, Baku tries to use those events to conceal the pogroms that took place in Sumgait during February 1988 and other cities thereafter,” the article stated.

The Sumgait pogroms (also known as the Sumgait Massacre or February Events) was an Azeri-led pogroms of the Armenian population of Azerbaijani Sumgait from 26 to 29 February 1988. On February 27, 1988, large mobs made up of Azeris formed into groups that went on to attack and killed Armenians both on the streets and in their apartments. Sumgait pogroms lasted three days and were accompanied by widespread violence, looting and murder. Sumgait events signaled the beginning of another unprecedented wave of anti-Armenian persecutions and violence in Azerbaijan, a new genocide. The victims of this of anti-Armenian persecutions and violence were Armenians of Kirovabad, Kazakhs, Khanlar, Dashkesan, Mingechaur, Baku and other towns and villages of Azerbaijan. This has led to floods of refugees from Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.

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