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Azerbaijan remembers 25th anniversary of Black January

Republic of Azerbaijan Republic of Azerbaijan

Of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan regarding the 25th Anniversary of 20 January 1990 Tragedy 
Twenty five years have already passed since the bloody 20 January 1990 tragedy. This unforgettable massacre, bloodsheds and grave crime against the humanity are commemorated with pain, hatred and rage every year. This tragedy engraved to our bloody memory as a “Black January Night” is not only a day of commemoration of our martyrs, but also the Day of solidarity, proud and honor of our people fighting for the integrity of the country. These bloody events once more proved that our people are able to fight for the sovereignty and own rights.Since 1988, the former soviet government contributed to the strengthened Armenian separatism in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The deportation of Azerbaijanis form their historical-ethnic lands in Armenia eventually exhausted the patience of our people. This massacre was committed by the USSR government as a punishment to break down the extended national liberation movement in Azerbaijan and as a response to the protests of the 
At the night from 19 to 20 January, 1990, the Soviet armed forces as well as armored vehicles entered Baku and Sumgait cities, including the other cities and rayons of the country. The soldiers and military officers of Armenian origin have been also involved into these actions. The amphibious groups taking out from the landing ships have also attacked the city and easily destroyed the barricades of civilians. Eventually, international legal norms, the relevant provisions of the former USSR as well as the Azerbaijan SSR constitutions were severely violated and our multinational people raised to defend of their lands and national identity were inflicted reprisals. 

As a consequence of the aggression committed by the Soviet armed forces, irrespective of their ethnicity, age and gender 147 civilians were mercilessly killed, 744 innocent people in the capital city and surrounding areas and regions were injured, dozens of people went missing and 841 people were unlawfully arrested. On the 20th declaring the state of emergency. 
Ambulances and physicians carrying the injured persons were also shot; medical staff became martyr as well.At that period, on behalf of all Azerbaijanis, the most relevant remarkable statement was made by the National leader Haydar Aliyev, who was residing in Moscow. This statement calling to legally assess the crime against humanity committed on the 20thoffenders, which was made in the capital of the Soviet Empire, before the leading mass media representatives, caused to great resonance. The direct prosecution of the head of former Soviet State, M.S. Gorbachev by Heydar Aliyev was an evidence of his bravery and love of own people. In 1993, at the request of the people Heydar Aliyev returned to the administration and at his initiative the Parliament declared the 20thcommemorated in the country.  January- as a Day of Mourning, which is annually Tragedy victims are buried in different cemeteries of Baku and regions of the country, which turned to the holy place for the visitors. Appreciating the national freedom movement, our people commemorate own martyrs with deep respect. 
These days, the Action Plan on the 25thThe Plan considers organizing different related events, conferences, lectures, performances, movies in cities and regions of the country, enlightening of those events in mass media and drawing the attention of international community. According to the Presidential Decree, martyrs died during those bloody event were awarded with honorary title “Martyr of the 20th of the State care to the persons who became disabled during 20th provided with Presidential allowance.
The 20th January massacre as an integral part of the plan on breaking the warlike character and national awakening of our people fighting for the integrity of own lands could not break up the will of the civilians demanding the restoration of their constitutional rights. This struggle for freedom ended with the re-gaining of the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1991. As a result of that long lasting Armenian aggression against the Azerbaijanis still continues, grave crimes of ethnic cleansing and massacre have been committed, 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands were occupied, our compatriots were forcibly deprived from their own lands and homes in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs.
The Azerbaijani party always tries for peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh. The country President Ilham Aliyev repeatedly and resolutely stated that this conflict must be solved within the territorial integrity of our country and withdrawing the occupant armed forces from the Azerbaijani territories. 
Raising awareness of the international community about the realities of Azerbaijan, including the tragedy of the 20th We provided the comprehensive information about the genocides and terror acts against our people in numerous international events. 
The writings about this tragedy are being published in the leading mass media and in different internet web pages and news portals. Azerbaijani Diasporas all over the World, draw attention of the international community to this tragedy and to Azerbaijani realities in general, organize commemoration ceremonies and call the international media agencies to tribute to the victims of this tragedy.
As a result of this crime against humanity, the provisions of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international legal documents on human rights were severely violated. The tragedy of 20th January, 1990, which was committed in XX century and accompanied with mass loss of human beings, is one of the horrible crimes by its nature and scale. Nevertheless, the perpetrators and benefactors of this crime have not been yet punished and the crime was not legally assessed at  anniversary of the 20th  January”, and in line with the Decree on “The Increasing January is one of our main duties. 

the international level. 
The tragedy of 20th
international law. According to the Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal 
Court ‘crime against humanity’ means extermination; enforced disappearance of persons; other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, serious injury to body, to mental or physical health are defined as elements of the crime. 
Pursuant to the international law, there is sufficient legislative framework for the interpretation of the events occurred on 20th are also enough grounds for bringing the military servants committed those violent acts as well as their commanders, the former Soviet State to the criminal responsibility, in particular. 

We do hope that the international community, international organizations will support the just demands of Azerbaijan and this bloody event will get its international legal recognition and the perpetrators won’t remained unpunished.

Elmira Suleymanova,
The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman)
of the Republic of Azerbaijan

of the Republic of Azerbaijan 
The Statement is addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Commission, Council of Europe, Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, International and European Institutions, Asian Ombudsman’s Association, International Peace Bureau, Universal Peace Federation, foreign ombudspersons, embassies of Azerbaijan abroad and foreign embassies to Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijani Diasporas.



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