Last week Armenians commemorated 31 years since the state sponsored Baku Pogroms were launched against Armenians living in Azerbaijan. From 12th January 1990, Azerbaijani nationalists slaughtered Armenians in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku for 7 days straight in a brutal massacre. Over those 7 days, Azerbaijani nationalist mobs would raid Armenian homes, looting and killing Armenians, and burn their churches and businesses. All the Armenians of Baku were expelled, including Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov’s family, and today there are no Armenians left living in Baku.
30 years on and Armenians are still being targeted by Azerbaijan for their ethnicity. Armenophobia is rampant across the country, reignited after the war launched by Azerbaijan in September, 2020 that led to indiscriminate attacks against the peaceful people of Nagorono-Karabakh. Despite the ceasefire, Azerbaijan is still targeting Armenians, torturing and killing them, and just last week the government introduced new stamps that depict a man in a hazmat suit fumigating the Nagorono-Karabakh region of its local Armenian population.
Tim Loughton MP and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Armenia, was horrified by the latest blatant hate-fuelled campaign, saying, ‘the ongoing attempts at ethnic cleansing of Armenians from the region and intimidation of the wider Armenian community through propaganda tools such as these, clearly demonstrate that Azerbaijan has no real intention to live peacefully with its neighbours. The Azerbaijani government is still actively stirring up hatred against Armenians, and trying to rewrite history by denying the existence of Armenians in the region and appropriating its culture to other groups to support this fallacy’.
In 2020, Azerbaijan invaded Artsakh, a region inhabited by Armenians, using illegal cluster bombs and chemical weapons destroying homes, schools, hospitals and churches. Armenia is a small country in the South Caucasus with a population of just 3 million compared to Azerbaijan’s 10 million. Thought to be descendants of the Urartians, Armenians are an ancient people whose history can be traced back to pre-Christianty, later becoming the first people to adopt Christianity in 301 AD.
Despite numerous attempts to rid the region of Armenians, they continue to fight for their right to existence. The Armenian National Committee of United Kingdom (ANC UK) and the British Armenian community remember those Armenians who were tragically killed and lost their homes in Baku, 1990.
One of the new stamps introduced by Azerbaijan’s government last week, depicting a person fumigating the Nagorono-Karabakh region