There is Now a Statue of a Dove in Sumgait

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There was a time when I had decided never to use the word “Genocide” because, if before it only encompassed the demand to bring the perpetrator to justice, then there came a time when the fact that your people were subjected to Genocide became humiliating.

Starting on February 20, 1988, we were demanding that the decision of the Armenian population of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast to join Armenia be respected. What happened six days later, in the industrial Azerbaijani town of Sumgait was that word which I had decided never to utter – Genocide. In a Soviet country, where Internationalism was a beloved and cherished concept, a state-sponsored genocide took place.

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30th anniversary of Sumgait pogroms: black spots of Azerbaijan

I present to your attention the article by Sergei Markedonov, an associate professor of the Chair of Foreign Region Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State Humanitarian University.

The Sumgait tragedy, which occurred 30 years ago, became one of the bloodiest events in the history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation. It made the “divorce” of the two peoples uncontested.

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Massacres in Baku in 1990 were Organized by Heydar Aliyev

Azerbaijani human rights activist and historian Arif Yunusov, who now resides in the Netherlands as a political immigrant, recently gave an interview to an Azerbaijani online TV channel “Obyektiv TV”. Yunusov stated that Armenian pogroms in January 1990, as well as Black January had been carried out by the order of Heydar Aliyev, who sought to come to power in Azerbaijan.

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Yerevan Slams Aliyev’s Latest Territorial Claim on Armenia; Calls Azerbaijani President’s Remarks ‘Racist’

BAKU, Azerbaijan (A.W.)—Armenian authorities have harshly criticized Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s address to the sixth congress of his New Azerbaijan (Yeni Azerbayacan) party on Thursday, calling his remarks racist.

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Risky Business: Defending Azerbaijan’s Opposition

A prominent lawyer spoke openly about the beating of his client while in custody, perhaps thinking that it could stir change in Azerbaijan.

Action was taken in the authoritarian country, but not against the police suspected of carrying out the beating. Instead, it is the whistle-blowing lawyer who finds himself being punished.

Shortly after speaking out, Yalcin Imanov, who has defended a number of government critics, was suspended by the Azerbaijani Bar Association. He awaits a final decision this month on whether he will be formally disbarred.

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Azerbaijani Opposition Coalition To Boycott Early Presidential Election

The head of Azerbaijan’s opposition National Council of Democratic Forces says the coalition will boycott an early presidential election that has been scheduled for April 11 under a decree by President Ilham Aliyev.

Opposition leader Camil Hasanli announced the coalition’s boycott plans in an interview with Reuters on February 6, a day after Aliyev’s website published the decree bringing forward the date of the election.

The vote previously had been scheduled for October 17.

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Azerbaijan’s authoritarianism goes digital

2018 is an election year in Azerbaijan. The authorities may have the streets on lockdown, but the fight against dissent in cyberspace is just beginning.

Last week, somebody broke into MeydanTV’s Facebook. By Monday, the Berlin-based online news platform finally restored its access to the page — but had lost years of posts and nearly 100,000 subscribers (the publication had experienced a series of DDoS attacks on its site earlier in January). Anybody who knows the parlous state of freedom of speech in Azerbaijan knows of MeydanTV. The site’s independent journalism has won it no friends in the South Caucasus state, where its journalists are routinely harassed.

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