Protest held near Azerbaijani embassy in Brussels

Protest held near Azerbaijani embassy in Brussels

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian National Committee of Belgium organized Wednesday, Feb 26, a rally in front of the embassy of Azerbaijan in Brussels to commemorating the Armenian victims of Azerbaijani pogroms in Sumgait, Baku, Maragha, Mingechaur, Kirovabad and other cities.

Waving Armenian and Nagorno Karabakh flags and posters, the protesters chanted in French, English, Russian and Armenian, to remind of Azerbaijan’s bloody past and present, of the pogroms back in 1988, the assassination of lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan in Hungary in 2004 and the heroic death of sergeant Armen Hovhanissyan in 2014.

Having read loudly the letter addressed to the embassy of Azerbaijan, the protesters marched to the memorial of the victims of Armenian Genocide in Brussels. The prayer for the souls of Armenian victims was pronounced there with the presence of Armenian Minister of defense Seyran Ohanyan, Armenian ambassador Avet Adonts and Head of Armenian Mission to NATO Armen Yedigaryan, as well as representatives of the Armenian community. The participants laid wreaths to the memorial.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

Armenian pogrom in Baku

The Armenian pogrom in Baku was part of Azerbaijani authorities' anti-Armenian program calculated to bring about the destruction of the town's Armenian population. The seven-day pogroms perpetrated by Azerbaijani SSR broke out on January 13, 1990, leaving 300 Armenians dead. The real number of victims remains unclear to date.

The Sumgait Pogrom

The Sumgait Pogrom was the Azeri-led pogrom that targeted the Armenian population living in the Azerbaijani seaside town of Sumgait in February 1988. On February 27, 1988, large mobs made up of Azeris formed into groups that went on to attack and kill Armenians in both on the streets and in their apartments; widespread looting and a general lack of concern from police officers allowed the situation to worsen. The violent acts in Sumgait were unprecedented in scope in the Soviet Union and attracted a great deal of attention from the media in the West. The massacre came in light of the Nagorno-Karabakh movement that was gaining traction in the neighbouring Armenia SSR.

Gurgen Margaryan

On February 19, 2004, Lieutenant of the Armenian Armed Forces Gurgen Margaryan, 26, was hacked to death, while asleep, by a fellow Azerbaijani participant, lieutenant Ramil Safarov, in Budapest during a three-month English language course in the framework of Partnership for Peace NATO-sponsored program. In accordance with Budapest District Court sentence dated April 13, 2006, Ramil Safarov was life imprisoned for murdering the Armenian officer.

On February 22, 2007, Budapest Court rejected the Azerbaijani military officer's appeal against a life sentence. The appeal court ruled that the decision brought by Budapest District Court against 30-year-old Lieutenant Ramil Safarov, should stand.

On August 31, 2012, Hungary extradited Safarov back to Azerbaijan, where he was promptly pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev.

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