Commentary by Aykhan Hajizada, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry on the Sumgayit events

The Armenian Foreign Ministry's allegations against Azerbaijan in its statement on the Sumgayit events are not only unfounded, but also distort and falsify historical facts.


This statement is an attempt at concealing acts of violence, mass expulsion of the Azerbaijani population in Armenia, terror against the Azerbaijani people, provocations, and the use of military force on ethnic grounds to carry out Armenia's baseless and illegal territorial claims against Azerbaijan since the late 1980s.


We remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that the ethnic turmoil in Sumgayit was an integral part of the purposeful and planned provocation by the leadership of USSR and Armenia, Armenian chauvinistic ideologists, and extremist organizations.


It is also worth pointing out that the USSR prosecutor general's office opened a criminal case pertaining to the incident, which resulted in the identification of the rioters along with the co-conspirators, as well as of the total of 32 victims. The presence of 6 Azerbaijanis among the victims of the incident demonstrates that the riots were not perpetrated by Azerbaijanis.


We wish to inform the Armenian Foreign Ministry that Eduard Grigoryan, an Armenian national, instigated the incidents. He led the march, personally causing the deaths of 6 individuals and the rape of 3 Armenian women. Furthermore, numerous testimonies from Armenians residing in Sumgayit corroborate these accounts. Grigoryan, condemned to 12 years in prison by a court ruling, was moved to Armenia to serve his sentence and was later released from prison.


92 persons found guilty in the outcomes of the trial regarding the events in Sumgayit on February 27-29, 1988, were sentenced to imprisonment, and 1 person received capital punishment.


For comparison, in the late 1980s, during the forceful deportation of around 300 thousand individuals from the territories densely populated by Azerbaijanis in the Armenian SSR, no action was taken against those responsible for the deaths of over 200 Azerbaijanis.


The Armenian Foreign Ministry is also well-aware that none of the perpetrators of multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Armenia in various cities and villages, including Khojaly, during its military aggression against Azerbaijan, have yet been held legally accountable.


We remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that the Republic of Azerbaijan has ended Armenia's decades-long military occupation of parts of its internationally recognized sovereign territory, restoring its territorial integrity and sovereignty.


Instead of claiming that "ethnic cleansing" was carried out against Armenians and historical and religious monuments were targeted, it would be more beneficial for the Armenian side to consider the criminal acts committed not only on the territory of present-day Armenia, but also against Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijan's heritage during the occupation.

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