On March 1, 2017, Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. honored the victims of the Sumgait pogroms and condemned Azerbaijan’s attacks .
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the Sumgait
pogroms, one of the most horrific attacks against the Armenian people,
committed at the hands of Azerbaijanis 29 years ago.
On February 27, 1988, hundreds of Armenian civilians living
in the city of Sumgait in Azerbaijan were indiscriminately killed, raped,
maimed, and even burned alive for no reason other than their ethnicity. This
senseless violence was instigated by hostile, anti-Armenian rhetoric from
Azerbaijani citizens and officials against innocent Armenians.
For nearly three decades, Azerbaijan has taken steps to
cover up these crimes against humanity and dismiss the atrocities at Sumgait.
Even more disturbing is that perpetrators of this event and similar violent
attacks have since been lauded as national heroes.
I condemn these horrific attacks. Tragically, the
Azerbaijani government’s approach toward the Armenian people has not changed
much since these attacks were perpetrated. In 2017, we hear the same violent
rhetoric and witness the intimidation tactics by the Azerbaijani government
against the people of Nagorno Karabakh.
If we do not condemn crimes against humanity and allow them
to go unpunished and unrecognized we only strengthen the resolve of those
seeking to perpetrate these crimes in the future. The Armenian people have
known this for too long, as we prepare to commemorate the 102nd anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide in April.
I will continue to work with my colleagues on the
Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus to remember the victims of the pogroms at
Sumgait and to condemn all acts of violence against people who are targeted
simply because of their existence. I hope my colleagues will join me in
rejecting violent rhetoric and intimidation and renewing our commitment to achieving
a collective peace.
Urge your Congressman to issue a statement honoring the victims of the Azeri pogroms, committed by Azerbaijani mobs against Armenian civilians in 1988.