ANC-AU Statement: 30 Years Since the Baku Pogroms - We Remember

By ANC-AU | Saturday, 18 January 2020


On January 12 1990, a seven-day Azerbaijani authorities-sanctioned pogrom broke out against the Armenians civilian population in Baku during which Armenians were beaten, murdered, and expelled from the city. There were also many raids on apartments, robberies and arson.

According to the Human Rights Watch reporter Robert Kushen, "the action was not entirely (or perhaps not at all) spontaneous, as the attackers had lists of Armenians and their addresses".

These became known as the #BakuPogroms, and along with the Sumgait Massacres and pogroms in Kirovabad, they assured Armenians that they will have to fight for their right to live in peace in their ancestral lands.

The tragedy of these Azeri-sanctioned pogroms ended with the glory of the liberation of the independent Armenian Republic of Artsakh.

The Canberra Times (pictured above) was among many Australian newspapers to cover the Baku Pogroms. This image is of one of their articles, run on 19 January 1990. The full text is below:

"About 5000 flee to Armenia

YEREVAN, Armenia: About 5000 Armenians fleeing pogroms and fighting in the neighbouring Soviet republic of Azerbaijan had entered Armenia over the past week with another 30,000 expected to arrive, Armenian television said on Wednesday.

An interior ministry official said 5000 refugees had arrived from all regions of Azerbaijan where Moscow has dispatched thousands of troops to quell an outbreak of ethnic warfare that had claimed more than 50 lives over the past several days.

The official said there were an estimated 30,000 who might attempt to flee and more who had escaped to other republics.

Television showed scenes at the airport in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, as arrivals awaited a response by authorities for resettlement.

Old men, women and children with swollen faces and tears in their eyes recounted how they had been forced to run, sometimes barefoot, in the streets of Baku, the Azerbaijan capital, chased by bands of Azeris.

The refugees said the pogroms had begun on January 10, when Azeris began beating Armenians in their path.

A French doctor in Armenia told Agence France Presse that one 70-year-old woman had been raped and had both arms broken.

Members of a French humanitarian team in Yerevan said about 700 ethnic Armenians had arrived from Baku over the past three days.'

A representative of Medecins du Monde (Doctors or the World) aid group said the refugees were being housed in the village of Bartonis, about 70km east of Yerevan.

The village was once populated by ethnic Azeris but has since been abandoned.

The influx of refugees to Armenia is expected to create problems, especially for those Armenians who have no immediate family to take them in."

- The Canberra Times - 19 January 1990

We remember.

- Armenian National Committee of Australia