Pogrom of Armenians in Baku

The Pogrom of Armenians in Baku [Azerbaijan: The status of Armenians, Russians, Jews and other minorities, report, 1993, INS Resource Informacion Center, p.6] is referred to the anti-Armenian pogrom directed against the Armenian inhabitants of Baku, Azerbaijani SSR [Azerbaijan: The status of Armenians, Russians, Jews and other minorities, report, 1993, INS Resource Informacion Center, p.10] [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-44300/Azerbaijan#481451.hook Britannica: Azerbaijan- The Soviet and post-Soviet periods] ] .Since the January 13, 1990 seven-day pogroms broke out against Armenians in the Baku, with a death toll of 48 [ [http://hrw.org/reports/1995/communal/ Human Rights Watch. “Playing the "Communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights”] ] or 66 [ [http://poli.vub.ac.be/publi/ContBorders/eng/ch01fn.htm#FN25 Alexei Zverev. Contested borders in the Caucasus] ] . Most of the deaths were caused by beatings and knife wounds; there were no gunshot wounds. There were also many raids on apartments and robberies. According to the Human Rights Watch reporter Robert Kushen, "the action was not entirely (or perhaps not at all) spontaneous, as the attackers had lists of Armenians and their addresses". [Conflict in the Soviet Union: Black January in Azerbaidzhan, by Robert Kushen, 1991, Human Rights Watch, ISBN 1564320278, p. 7]

History

By January 1990, Azerbaijan was in turmoil. Large rallies by the Azerbaijani Popular Front took place in Baku.

Central authorities also did little to stop the violence [ [http://hrw.org/reports/1995/communal/ Human Rights Watch. “Playing the "Communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights”] ] .

As no state of emergency was declared in Baku - the pogrom activity started to subside: Azerbaijani Popular Front activists began a blockade of military barracks. Thomas de Waal was called this pogrom the first part of "Black January" tragedy with about 90 Armenian victims. According to him, at first a big boodle collected in the Lenin Square of Baku, and at nightfall different groups separated from the Azerbaijani Popular Front demonstrants, and started to attack Armenians. As in Sumgait, their activities were distinguished by sophisticated cruelty: the area around the Armenian quarter became an arena of mass killings [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/in_depth/newsid_4664000/4664799.stm 1988-1990 г.г. Азербайджанская трагедия, Главы из русского издания книги "Черный сад", Том де Ваал (in Russian)] ] . During the "pogroms in Baku, Armenian homes were set on fire and looted while many Armenians were killed or injured". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/22/newsid_4099000/4099647.stm BBC on this day: 22 January] ] Several eyewitnesses told Helsinki Watch/Memorial that they "approached militiamen on the street to report nearby attacks on Armenians, but the militiamen did nothing". [Conflict in the Soviet Union: Black January in Azerbaidzhan, by Robert Kushen, 1991, Human Rights Watch, ISBN 1564320278, p. 7]

Francis X. Clines, who was in Baku after the events, in his report for "The New York Times" wrote:

Quotation|Here and there, boarded windows or soot-blackened walls mark an apartment where Armenians were driven out by mobs and their belongings set afire on the balcony.

The Armenian Orthodox Church, whose congregation has been depleted over the past two years by an emigration based on fear, is now a charred ruin. A neighbor said firefighters and the police watched without intervening as vandals destroyed the building at the beginning of the year. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDB1F38F937A15757C0A966958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 Evolution in Europe; Russians Denied Refuge in Own Land, By Francis X. Clines, The New York Times, April 24, 1990] ]

Aftermath

In 1990, an "Open Letter on Anti-Armenian Pogroms in the Soviet Union" was iniciated by the Helsinki Treaty Watchdog Committee of France and intellectuals from the College International de Philosophie, Paris:

"As recently as January 1990, the pogroms continued in Baku and other parts of Azerbaijan. The mere fact that these pogroms were repeated and the fact that they followed the same pattern lead us to think that these tragic events are not accidents or spontaneous outbursts." [ [http://www.nybooks.com/articles/3505 An Open Letter on Anti-Armenian Pogroms in the Soviet Union,By David Aaron, Isaiah Berlin, William M. Chace, Jacques Derrida, Luc Ferry, Alain Finkielkraut et al., NYR Book, Volume 37, Number 14 · September 27, 1990] ]

In January 1990, Soviet troops intervened in Baku, declared a state of martial law [Azerbaijan: The status of Armenians, Russians, Jews and other minorities, report, 1993, INS Resource Informacion Center] . The Soviet forces not only failed to stem anti-Armenian attacks, but also raised serious doubts about whether the Soviets wished to stem that violence. The action resulted in over one hundred civilian, mostly Azeri, deaths because of the unjustified and excessive use of force. The action even did not achieve its official goal: most Armenians fled Baku [ [http://hrw.org/reports/1995/communal/ PLAYING THE "COMMUNAL CARD":Communal Violence and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch] ] . The World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and his family was among the evacuees. [ [http://kasparovchessfoundation.org/About/bio.html Kasparov Chess Foundation - Bio] ] By the end of April, 1993, it has been estimated that ["Implementation of the Helsinki Accords: Human Rights and Democratization in the Newly Independent States ofthe former Soviet Union" (Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, January 1993), p. 116] only 18-20,000 Armenians remained in Baku, mostly in hiding ["Increased Harassment of Refugee Applicants," U.S. Department of State Cable from American Embassy, Baku,to the State Department, Washington, D.C., 29 April 1993.] .

Publications

*«Pogrom» / Washington Post, Washington, D.C. (Jan 21, 1990)
*Yurchenko, Boris, "A crowd of Armenians and Russians who fled violence in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku register Thursday for relief at an emergency center in Moscow, " Free Press, Detroit (Jan 26,1990)
*Whitney, Craig R., "When empires fall, not everyone ends up with a state of his own, " New York Times National (Apr 14, 1991)
*А. Головков Проникающее ранение / Журнал «ОГОНЕК», 6, 1990
*Human Rights Watch. “Playing the "Communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights”
*Conflict in the Soviet Union: Black January in Azerbaidzhan, by Robert Kushen, 1991, Human Rights Watch, ISBN 1564320278
*JTA, "Jews among Azerbaijani casualties, " Washington Jewish Week, Washington, D.C. (Jan 18, 1990)
*Feldmenn, Linda, "Soviet Rein in Azeri Nationalists, " Christian Science Monitor (Jan 29, 1990)

References

External links

* [http://hrw.org/reports/1995/communal/ PLAYING THE "COMMUNAL CARD"] : Communal Violence and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch
* [http://sumgait.info/baku/baku-1990.htm Armenian pogroms in Baku, 1990 (in Russian)]
* [http://www.regnum.ru/news/393726.html Pogroms on Regnum NA]
* [http://www.gorby.ru/rubrs.asp?art_id=14850&rubr_id=175&page=1 Armenian pogroms of Baku] , Gorbachev Foundation Official site, Chronology of the USSR

ee also

*Sumgait Pogrom
*Kirovabad Pogrom
*Maraghar Massacre
*Black January


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