Western Azerbaijan Community issues statement on 31 March – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis
The Western Azerbaijan Community has issued a statement on 31 March – the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, the Community's press service told News.Az.
The statement says: “March 31, the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, is marked by Western Azerbaijanis with particular sadness. After the mass settlement of Armenians to the Caucasus, extremist Armenian armed groups and the Armenian government committed acts of genocide against the people of Azerbaijan. Genocide was systematically carried out on the basis of racist ideology instilling ethnic hatred.
The massacre unleashed by the ultra-nationalist “Dashnaksutyun” party’s armed units in Baku on March 31, 1918 was a horrific development that embodies the unprecedented act of genocide against the people of Azerbaijan in historically Azerbaijani lands.
This genocide, which started in 1905, was particularly cruel in the western part of Azerbaijan.
In 1918-1920, the Armenian army committed massacres and ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis in Irevan, Zangezur, Goycha, Daralayaz, Surmali, Sharur and other regions.
The fact that the Armenian army invaded in 1918 Khoy, Salmas, Urmiya and Garadagh regions of the Qajar state and massacred there the refugees and local Azerbaijanis, proves that the intention of this state was not only to carry out ethnic cleansing in its claimed territory, but also to completely exterminate the Azerbaijanis as an ethnic group.
As a result of these acts of genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were killed, the Azerbaijanis, who used to account for more than 80 percent of the population of present-day Armenia, became an ethnic minority in 1921. As a result of the ethnic cleansing carried out in 1948-1952 and 1987-1991, Azerbaijanis were completely expelled from those places. Currently, there is not a single Azerbaijani left in the territory that is now referred to as Armenia.
The entire historical and cultural heritage, mosques and cemeteries of Azerbaijanis have been destroyed. Only one of the 269 mosques registered in 1897 has survived.
Although Armenia is a party to the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous international conventions in the field of human rights, it continues to pursue its racist policies. This country prevents the Azerbaijanis from returning to their homes safely and with dignity, glorifies persons such as Garegin Nzhdeh, Andranik Ozanyan, Drastamat Kanayan, Monte Melkonyan, who committed crimes against humanity and acts of terror against Azerbaijanis. Armenia promotes the Nazi ideology of Nzhdeh at state level.
We call on the Armenian state to acknowledge its responsibility for the acts of genocide, for the ethnic cleansing, for the crimes against humanity and for war crimes it has committed, and to take the necessary steps for reconciliation. Armenia should create conditions for a safe and dignified return of the expelled Azerbaijanis and restore the destroyed Azerbaijani cultural heritage. Also, Armenia should stop its policies and practices that instill hatred and discrimination against Azerbaijanis, hand over those who have committed crimes against humanity to the court of justice, immediately stop glorifying them, dismantle the monuments erected to military and political figures and terrorists who participated in crimes against Azerbaijanis, and reverse the changes in place names it has made.”