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Violence in Sumgait was reminiscent of the Armenian Genocide – President

Violence and savageries against Armenians in Sumgait, and later in Baku, Kirovabad, and Maragha in their nature were reminiscent of the horrendous days of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, President Armen Sarkissian said in a statement on the 32nd anniversary of Sumgait Pogroms.

“In those days in February, 1988, supported by the criminal acquiescence of the authorities of Soviet Azerbaijan, local armed gangs in Sumgait executed mass violence against the Armenian population, which mounted to massacres, accompanied by torture, rape, looting, and torching of the Armenian property. As a result of the crime instigated and carried out at the state level multiple citizens of the Armenian origin were killed, many were injured, subjected to violence, and deported,” the President said.

“Violence and savageries against Armenians in Sumgait, and later in Baku, Kirovabad, and Maragha in their nature were reminiscent of the horrendous days of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. They also resulted in xenophobia and especially Armenophobia enthused in Azerbaijan for decades which today has become even more pronounced and have acquired state-sponsored and state-coordinated features,” President Sarkissian continued.

The President said that by recalling the tragic events, which happened more than 32 years ago we also send a message to the humankind that civilization cannot develop guided by fascism, national discrimination, and xenophobia.

“Each case that goes unpunished, each distorted fact, each life taken based on hatred means a new opening and possibility for tragedy, it means complicity with those who perpetrate xenophobia, instigators and those who use it as a weapon. It also means incessant waves of hatred in the region, unhindered path to ethnic cleansing, and ultimately to the gravest crime against humanity – genocide,” the President stated.

“The tragedy in Sumgait and Armenians affected by it were the immediate victims of homophobia and Armenophobia. Keeping the road open for the “Brown plague” today too, manifests disrespect to the memory of all those who fell victims of fascism and xenophobia,” President Sarkissian concluded.

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