Louisiana Senate condemns pogroms of Armenians in Azerbaijan

Louisiana Senate condemns pogroms of Armenians in Azerbaijan

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Louisiana State Senate unanimously adopted a resolution, condemning Azerbaijani pogroms against its Armenian citizens and called on the U.S. government to press Baku to bring the perpetrators to justice, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).

The measure was introduced by Senator Edwin Murray, who just last year spearheaded State Senate recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s independence and urged U.S. support the self-determination and democratic independence of this developing democratic state.

The measure was introduced by Senator Edwin Murray, who just last year spearheaded State Senate recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s independence and urged U.S. to support the self-determination and democratic independence of this developing democratic state.

This year’s resolution, Senate Resolution 166, expresses “sympathy in support of the families of victims of massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan.” The measure goes on to call on the “President of the United States and the Congress [to] exert all available influence on the government of Azerbaijan to cease the falsification of the historical facts and bring those in Azerbaijan who are responsible for the Armenian massacres [to justice].”

Vazken Kaltakdjian, Louisiana Chairman of the Armenian Council of America, worked closely with Senator Murray, Secretary of the Senate Glenn Koepp, Attorney John Seago and the broader Louisiana Armenian American community in moving this issue forward.

“The Louisiana State Senate once again spoke out for truth and justice by condemning Azerbaijan’s vicious attacks against Artsakh and the Armenian populations in Baku, Sumgait and throughout the country,” said Kaltakdjian. “Resolutions such as these are particularly important in the face of an unrepentant Aliyev regime, which regularly violates the fragile Nagorno Karabakh ceasefire.”

ANCA Eastern Region Board Chairman Steve Mesrobian welcomed the initiative, stating, “We join with Armenians in Louisiana and across America in thanking Senator Edwin Murray and the Louisiana State Senate for condemning the Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian attacks and calling on the U.S. government to take concrete steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The U.S. has served as safe haven to tens of thousands of Armenian-Americans who are refugees of pogroms against Armenians in Sumgait (1988), Kirovabad (1988), and Baku (1990), and the ethnic-cleansing of the Armenian population of Azerbaijan.

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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.

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