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Old 28.02.2008, 12:30   #16
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Vomanc patcharov es datan ancela 2-rd plan.
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Old 28.02.2008, 13:15   #17
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da ti prav - toshno jej bogu ((

В Армении отметили скорбную дату - 20-летие Сумгаитских погромов


В Армении 28 февраля отмечают трагическую дату - 20-летие резни в азербайджанском городе Сумгаите. Известные политические, общественные деятели, депутаты парламента Армении и сотни жителей республики с утра потянулись к памятнику невинным жертвам трагедии, чтобы отдать им дань памяти. Граждане возложили венки и цветы к мемориалу. 28 февраля очередное заседание парламента Армении началось с минуты молчания.



В Армении отметили скорбную дату - 20-летие Сумгаитских погромов - Армения Новости - ИА REGNUM
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Old 28.02.2008, 14:02   #18
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В Армении требуют учредить Международный трибунал над виновными в погромах в Сумгаите и Баку


Участники траурного мероприятия, посвященного 20-летию погромов в азербайджанском городе Сумгаите подписали декларацию, в которой требуют от Совбеза ООН учредить Международный трибунал для судебного преследования лиц, ответственных за погромы в Сумгаите и Баку. ИА REGNUM приводит полный текст Декларации.
Мы - участники митинга, посвященного 20-летию сумгаитских погромов, обращаемся к главам государств-сопредседателей Минской группы ОБСЕ по Карабахскому урегулированию (США, Россия, Франция), Генеральному секретарю ООН, Совету безопасности ООН, Европейскому парламенту, Европейскому союзу, ОБСЕ, президенту Армении, председателю Национального Собрания Армении с настоящей Декларацией.
Жизнь показала, что все попытки международных официальных организаций и международного сообщества действенно заняться так называемым карабахским урегулированием оказались тщетными. В этой связи есть реальные опасения, что настанет день, когда как это часто бывает, презрев логику и благоразумие, примут непродуманное решение, которое приведет к непредсказуемым последствиям во всем регионе. А между тем, первое, чего нужно добиться, это предотвращение беды.
Нет сомнения, что важнейшим аргументом решения азербайджано-карабахской проблемы являются переговоры непосредственно конфликтующих сторон. Однако на протяжении всех двадцати лет как соответствующие международные организации, так и заинтересованные страны, явно не учитывают того факта, что переговоры проходят на фоне оголтелой антиармянской истерии и воинственной арменофобии, царящих сегодня в Азербайджане. Официальный Баку давно уже объявил Армении непримиримую войну, замешанную на махровой ксенофобии, которую академик Сахаров сразу после Сумгаита назвал "пещерным расизмом". И все это происходит при нынешнем полном отсутствии в Азербайджане пропаганды толерантности - терпимости к чужим мнениям, верованиям, культурам. На глазах у всего мира идет человеконенавистническая война, теперь уже на информационном поле, объявленная Азербайджаном армянскому народу. И становится очевидным, что перед тем, как садиться за стол переговоров, надо, прежде всего, не мешкая, остановить эту войну.
Безнаказанность "сумгаита" и "баку", мало того, возведение в ранг национальных героев организаторов и исполнителей армянских погромов, причисление чуть ли не к лику святых молодого азербайджанского офицера, который в Будапеште убил топором своего спящего коллегу, только потому, что он был армянином, привели к тому, что сегодняшнего Азербайджана характерными уже стали не только зловещая арменофобия, но и открытые призывы к войне. И, надо подчеркнуть, что призывают к кровопролитию не рядовые граждане, а официальные лица, начиная от президента Азербайджана, заканчивая депутатами Милли Меджлиса. Цинично заявляют перед собственным народом га весь мир, что " в ближайшие годы на карте Южного Кавказа не будет существовать государства Армении, ибо этот народ не имеет права жить в регионе". Таким образом, вместо покаяния за бесконечные злодеяния и зверства, вместо суда над террористами мы слышим сегодня лишь бряцание оружием и угрозы реваншизмом, фальсификацию фактов даже новейшей истории и непрекращающиеся оскорбления достоинства армянского народа.
И на таком вот воинственном тоне, когда чувства поистине зоологической ненависти против целого народа накалены до предела, когда после распада СССР были прекращены все судебные дела о наказании организаторов и исполнителей геноцида армян в Сумгаите и Баку, становится бессмысленным и аморальным садиться за стол переговоров. Ибо вряд ли в такой ненормальной ситуации можно ожидать трезвого диалога и, конечно, разумного решения вопроса.
Хотим напомнить вам, что если Турция, подчистив свои государственные архивы, цинично приглашает историков поискать в них документы, свидетельствующие о Геноциде армян, то в случае с Сумгаитом и Баку все необходимые свидетельства сохранились. Во многих городах СССР, проходили судебные процессы по делам о сумгаитских и бакинских погромах. Неоднократно на заседаниях Политбюро ЦК КПСС, съездов народных депутатов СССР и сессий советского парламента заслушивались и принимались решения о преступлениях в Сумгаите и Баку. Так что для возобновления судебных расследований имеются все необходимые материалы. Остается напомнить, что речь идет о терроризме, о преступлениях, совершенных против человечества и человечности, к которым не применим международный правовой принцип срока давности.
Мы глубоко убеждены: только после справедливого суда над организаторами и исполнителями сумгаитских и бакинских погромов можно надеяться на то, что оба народа сами найдут точки сближения, которые надежнее всего приведут к реальному согласию и миру в регионе. И только тогда появится возможность сесть за стол переговоров для успешного решения всех вопросов.
В Армении требуют учредить Международный трибунал над виновными в погромах в Сумгаите и Баку - Армения Новости - ИА REGNUM
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Old 28.02.2008, 17:03   #19
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Pogroms against Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan.
Sumgait eyewitness accounts


Compiled and Edited by SAMVEL SHAHMURATIAN
Foreword by YELENA BONNER

Foreword

It is extremely difficult to write a foreword for this book. Yet reading the book is even more difficult, unbearably so. It is not literature: It is living tragedy, an open wound for all the people who lived through those days. The recollections of eyewitnesses are like a conversation with oneself. Not before a camera, nor a microphone, nor printed in the press. They are the kinds of things people tell themselves, and perhaps their mothers, in the darkest of night. And, probably, no one else. But you are reading it. You must read it! Tears well up in your eyes, and pain wrenches your heart. And burning shame, shame that this happened here, in my time and in my country. Each of our citizens, then, was a participant.

Sumgait shook the Armenian people. It stunned with its brutality and with its cynicism. It struck Azerbaijan with its organization and its impunity. And it stunned people in Russia, but only those who knew the truth. This immense country — a sixth of the planet — does not know the truth even to this day. And the West hardly even noticed. Such was our glasnost in action. One is ashamed to recall how, during those days, when the dead were being buried and all of Armenia was on strike, Russian workers reproached the Armenians from the screen of Central Television for their failure to work, because plan targets would not be met as a result of the Armenians' actions. You wanted to turn away from the screen so as not to see the faces of people who, once again, had been misled.

History will undoubtedly pass its verdict on the Sumgait genocide. But judgments of living history always come too late, bringing further misfortune. I think that today's lack of progress in the country that proclaimed the policy of perestroika has its roots in the time when people believed in perestroika's slogans. The time when Karabagh chose to follow the path sought by its people, legally—by decree of its governmental authorities. It was an absolute majority: 75 percent of the people inhabiting the territory.

This was among the first stirrings of perestroika in the USSR, and Armenia became one of the first republics in which perestroika came to life, with many thousands of people turning up for rallies crying "yes" to Gorbachev. Never before and nowhere else in the country had perestroika and its initiator seen such support. But our regime fears unsanctioned popular movements more than anything else. As in the case of all our most important problems today, the government's lack of understanding and its inability to cope provided time for the dark forces to plan what happened in Sumgait. The authorities tried in every way possible to hush up and wallpaper over Sumgait, and to represent it as something other than what it was. General Secretary Gorbachev was often to repeat, "We were three hours late, it was a small group of hooligans." Coming from him, such words were even more shameful than they were from the mouths of ignorant workers.

Beginning with the first mistakes made in Karabagh, the Sumgait events—which remain without official condemnation—brought an avalanche of tragedies down on our country, tragedies that will take long to fully comprehend: Kirovabad and the streams of refugees from both sides, Tbilisi, Abkhazia, Fergana, Uzden, Ossetia, and now, the latest horror, Baku. It is not the Azerbaijani Popular Front—the "extremists"—who are to blame (first it was the Armenian, and now the Azerbaijani extremists who were fingered), but rather the authorities' fear of losing power. In the meanwhile, we have become a country of refugees. We are now hushing up these events just like we hushed up the famine in the Ukraine and the deaths of millions in the 1930s. Now the whole country is in a state of excruciating anticipation: What will come next? And everyone is searching for his own answer to the question of whether and at what point it was necessary to introduce troops into Baku. And why. To save the people or to save the State?

Such are our thoughts on what has taken place. We are all searching for a way out of today's dead end. The conclusion most often is to avoid stirring up the past—yet this is not the distant past, it is the past of the last two years. The most frequent notion is to begin with the tragic January of this year. But in our country in recent years all the months have been tragic. I think that we must begin with the full truth of these two years. Our leadership must tell our country everything. The whole chain of mistakes, instances of idleness, and intolerable actions. It is only with the whole truth that the search for solutions can begin. There is no need to fear—not for Muslims, not for Christians, and not for atheists: We are all people. But without shedding light on the truth, all our efforts will be for nought.

Perhaps I, being half-Armenian and half-Jewish, should not be the one to write this foreword. Perhaps it would be better written by the Azerbaijani woman who saved an Armenian family; this book contains her words: "Look what's happening out there, my child is seeing all of this, tomorrow he'll be doing the same things." This is a warning for all of us on this Earth. If we do not find a way to make each state, be it large or small, a state for the people, and not the other way around, then our children and our grandchildren will become a brutal, unhuman mob.

Yelena Bonner
Moscow
February 1990
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Old 28.02.2008, 17:03   #20
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- VITALY NIKOLAYEVICH DANIELIAN
Born 1972
Attended 9th Grade Middle School No. 17
Resident at Building 4/2, Apartment 25Microdistrict No. 3 Sumgait

Really, people in town didn't know what was happening on February 27. I came home from school at 12 o'clock, being excused to leave before the last period in order to go to Baku. When we left, everything in town was fine. Life was the same as usual, a few groups of people were discussing things, soccer and other things. Then we got on the Sumgait bus bound for Baku for my first cousin's birthday, my father, my mother, and I. We spent the day in Baku, and on the 28th, somewhere around 6:00 p.m., we got on the bus for home, figuring that I'd have enough time to do my homework for the next day.

When we were entering town, near the 12-story high-rises, our bus was stopped by a very large crowd. The crowd demanded that the Armenians get off the bus. The driver says that there are no Armenians on board; then everyone on the bus begins to shout that there are no Armenians on board.

The group comes up to the doors of the bus and has people get out one by one, not checking passports, just going by the way people look. We get off the bus, but are not taken for Armenians.
We set out in the direction of home. At first we were going to go into an old building where we knew there'd be a place to hide, but the whole road was packed with groups of people, all the way from Block 41 to the 8th Microdistrict. These groups were emptying people's pockets and checking Passports. People who didn't have passports with them were beaten as well. Then we decided to go home instead. Near the 12-story high-rises I saw burning cars and a great many people standing around the driveways, yelling - "Death to the Armenians" was written on the cars. When we came into the courtyard—we live in an L-shaped building—it was still quiet. We went on upstairs, but didn't turn on any lights. We tried to call Baku to warn our relatives, who were due to arrive on Wednesday, not to come. Then there was a knock at the door. It was our neighbors, who advised us to come down to stay at their place. We went down to their place, and they led us to the basement. They live on the first floor and have a base-ment which you enter across the balcony. We sat in the basement while an Armenian woman was beaten—she ran away naked. Our neighbors' daugh-ter said that's right, that's what the Armenians deserve, because in Stepanakert, allegedly, people were being killed, 11 girls from Agdam had been raped. We didn't stay very long in the basement. We tried to support one another as best we could, looking out the small window with the iron grating. Papa watched and said things now and then. He said that there was a fire near Building 5, probably a car on fire. Then one of the groups approached our driveway and demanded that they be shown the apart¬ments where Armenians lived. The neighbors said that there weren't any Armenians here, and the group set out for the other wing of the building. They appeared from the 5/2 side of the building, where, I later found out, a woman had been murdered. The woman who ran away naked died. Yuri Avakian was killed, too.

When the crowd left, the neighbors said that it was all over and we could go home. We went back up to our place and again didn't turn on the light. We started to gather up our things in order to leave Sumgait for a while. We tried to call a relative who lived in Sumgait, but there was no answer. We decided she had already left.

We sat at home. The phone rang, and the caller asked to speak with my father. I called him to the phone. It was Jeykhun Mamedov, from my father's work brigade. He said he was disgusted by what was happening in our town. He asked for our address and promised to get a car and help us get out of the city. To be quite honest, Papa didn't want to give him our address, but my mother got on the phone and told him. Some 15 minutes after the call a crowd ran into our entryway. Bursting into the building, they broke down the door and came into the apartment...
They came straight to our apartment, they knew exactly where the Armenians were. They came into our place. We tried to resist, but there was nothing we could do. One of them took my parents' passports and began to read them. He read the surname "Danielian," turned the page, read "Armenian," and that alone was enough to doom us. He said that we should be moved quickly out into the courtyard, where they would have done with us. Another, standing next to him, pushed some of the keys on the piano and said "your death has tolled." They had knives and steel truncheons.

I had a knife in my hand. Unfortunately, I didn't use it. I just knew that if I didn't give up the knife things would be much worse. They struck my par¬ents and said that I should put the knife on the piano. Then, one of them commanded that we be taken outside. One person was giving orders. When we were taken outdoors I went in the middle, and my mother was behind me. Someone started to push her so she'd walk faster; I let her go ahead of me, and fell in behind her. When he tried to push me, I hit him, and at that moment they began beating my parents; I realized that resistance was com¬pletely useless.

We are taken out into the courtyard, and the neighbors are standing on their balconies to see what will happen next. The crowd surrounds us. At first they strike me, and I'm knocked out; when I come to, they beat me again ... I lose consciousness often ... I don't see or hear my parents, since I was the first one hit and was out cold. When I come to I try to pick them up; they are lying next to me. The crowd is gone, the only people around are watching from their balconies. That's it. I try to pick them up, but can't. My left arm is broken. I start toward the drive, wanting to tell the neighbors to call an ambulance. The bodies of my parents are still warm.

We were attacked at around 9 o'clock. I regain consciousness at about 11 and try to make it up the stairs home . . . When I knock at the neighbors' door, they push me back and tell me to go away. I go up to the third floor, our neighbor puts a damp cloth on my head and says she will call an ambu¬lance; she sends her son off for one and takes me to our apartment. I often look out the window to see if the ambulance has arrived, but I can't see very far as a result of the blows, and it seems that my parents have already been taken away. Then I calm down and try to convince myself that they have been taken away, and everything will be OK.

But they were still there. Later, at 8 in the morning as I found out, the ambulance picked them up, but they were already dead. If they received attention on time, it is possible they would still be alive.

Later, around 12 o'clock on the 29th, policemen in civilian clothing come to our house with some "assistants." They call an ambulance, and 20 minutes later it arrives, and I am taken to the Sumgait Emergency Hospital. There they stitch the wounds on my head and rebind my arm. At 3 o'clock I and the other Armenians who are in the hospital are sent by ambulance to Baku.
In my ward at the Sumgait Hospital there were five people, all of them Armenians. The hospital was nearly overflowing with Armenians. The only Azerbaijanis there were those whose car had flipped over before the events, before the 27th.

Then I was in the Semashko Hospital in Baku. I was there 38 days. When I was released, on the 40th day, I found out that my parents were dead. At first they told me that they were in Moscow being treated, but later I found out that they were dead. My father's older brother told me.
My father's name was Nikolai Artemovich Danielian. He was born in 1938. My mother, born in 1937, was Seda Osipovna Danielian. Papa worked at PMK-20, the leader of the roofing brigade; mamma was a compressor operator.

They were also beaten on the head. The coroner's report stated that their heads were smashed open and bled profusely.

At the confrontation I met Jeykhun Mamedov, who had called. As it turned out later, he had been the one who tipped the crowd off. He had called specifically to find out if we were at home and to find out the exact address and dispatch the group. He knew the phone number, but didn't know the address. Before the events I had never seen him, but had often spoken with him on the phone, when he would ask to speak with my father.

I knew him by name. He denies that I was the one who answered the phone, saying that my father answered it. He denies that he called from a public phone, saying that he called from home, which also isn't true. I heard noise the sounds of automobiles. As I later found out, earlier he had been convicted, but had never served any time—he had received a suspended sen-tence. He was about 20 years old. I don't know if he has since confessed or not. I am sure that he was the one who tipped the crowd off. One-hundred percent sure.

My parents were from Karabagh. Father was from the village of Badar, and was two years old when his family moved to Baku, where his elder brothers were to go to school. He was a student at the Naval School, but never graduated. He went off to work on the virgin lands [one of the gigan¬tic agricultural projects instituted under Khrushchev.] When he returned he lived in Baku, and later moved to Sumgait, helping with the town's con¬struction. Mamma was from the village of Dagdagan, also from Karabagh. She worked in Sumgait, first in a bookstore, and later, on a construction site.

My sister is older than I. She lives with her husband here in Karabagh. I always loved my parents. That was why I went on to 9th grade, because it was their dream that I would continue my studies. I finished 8th grade and wanted to enter the Baku Nautical School, and after that, the Military School. But later I changed my mind, or rather, my parents got me to recon¬sider, saying that it would be better to finish the 10th grade and then join the Naval School. I was planning to be in the Navy almost my whole life long—since childhood I had dreamed of being a sailor. My father wanted it more than anything. He always recollected his youth, telling of the School, and he always said that he had made a big mistake in leaving it.

Now 1 live in Karabagh and never plan to leave here. I will stay at the home of my grandfather, of my ancestors, till the end of my days.

While in the hospital in Baku I learned the fates of many others who had suffered as well, like Ishkhan [Trdatov]. He managed to hold them off [at their residence in Microdistrict 3, Building 6/2, Apartment 6.] for a long time, lost his father [Gabriel], and by some miracle managed to survive. I also learned of Uncle Sasha, from Building 5/2, whose daughter was raped . . . Besides them, Valery—I forgot his last name—was in the hospital too, about a year younger than I, he went to School No. 14. He was riding with his parents in the car. People were throwing rocks at them, he was hit, and his parents brought him to the hospital, and he was in our ward. We even came to be friends. Before that we had just seen each other around town. But in the hospital we got to know one another better. I learned of the fates of others, those who had died, or who were befallen by misfortune . . .

Today Suren Harutunian, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia, was shown on television. To be honest I am glad that Armenia agreed to recognize Nagorno Karabagh as part of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. I was repelled, no, revolted, to hear the Baku announcer who read the decision of the Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet Presidium against Karabagh becoming part of Armenia.

After the events in Sumgait and those in Baku, the best solution is to give Karabagh to Armenia, return it to Armenia, since the people want to live peacefully with the Azerbaijanis, but everything has to be right before they can do that.

I arrived in Karabagh on April 11. I felt very bad. I had constant headaches. After a while my strength returned. My older sister, Suzanna, took me in.

I think that justice should prevail; the people are demanding their due. You can't take away what is their due. My parents and I often spoke of Nagorno Karabagh, often visited here—I spent almost all of my vacations here. We had even decided that if Karabagh would be made part of Armenia, we would move here for sure. We always said that the Armenian people had suffered much, and that what had been done in 1921—removing Nagorno Karabagh from Armenia—was wrong. Sooner or later, mistakes should be corrected. And in order to correct a mistake, it must not be repeat¬ed; and the fate of all Nagorno Karabagh lies in the hands of our govern¬ment.

June 13, 1988 Stepanakert
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Old 28.02.2008, 17:04   #21
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RIMA JUMSHUDOVNA KHALAFIAN
Born 1940
Seamstress
Sumgait Knit Outerwear Factory

■ IRINA MIKHAILOVNA KHALAFIAN
Her daughter
Born 1964
Copyist
Design Department
Azerbaijan Tube-Rolling Plant
Residents at Building 5/2, Apartment 38
Microdistrict No, 3, Sumgait

-Rima: The whole tragedy began for us on February 28. That day my daughter and I were to hold a karasunk for my husband. We had told all the relatives to meet at our place. We spent most of the night getting ready, and in the morning I said "I feel something wrong in my heart, something's going to happen." The situation in town was bad. On the 27th I saw a big crowd on Lenin Street shouting that Karabagh was not going to be given to the Armenians. I became upset, of course. I went to the policeman from our microdistrict; he has an office in Building 7. I went to ask that the police maintain order while we were honoring my husband's memory. You just never know what might happen. Then our acquaintance called, the one who was supposed to drive the bus so we could all go to visit my husband's grave. "I can't get to your place," he says, "it's impossible. The road is closed near the car plant." I told this to the district policeman, and he found a bus himself and says, "Come on, go quickly to the cemetery." I say, "What do you mean, quickly? People are supposed to come over at one o'clock this after¬noon." "No," he says, "you have to hurry." At 11:30 we left with our close rel¬atives for the cemetery, and the policemen—there were five of them—went with us. We returned home and quickly set the table, and the guests took their places. I had invited many guests, but all of them wouldn't fit into the apartment, so I had rented a big tent. We set it up in the courtyard, along with tables and benches.

The guests sat for a while, and suddenly there was noise and shouting. I look up and see about a hundred people coming our way. Young men, Azerbaijanis, from 13 to 25 or 30 years old. They've all got sticks and pieces of machinery in their hands. I was simply petrified. Our district policeman and some others went up to them and told them something, and then they left. Our guests from Baku started leaving in a hurry, and there had been only a few from Sumgait; many just hadn't been able to get to our place. We quickly cleared the tables and took everything inside, and folded up the tent and left it and the tables and benches in the courtyard. My closest friends and relatives were there in our apartment. My daughters were there—I have three daughters. Marina has two children, Stella recently got married, and Irina's still single; she and I lived together. Anyway, when everything seemed to have calmed down, I tell my daughters, "Set the table in the living room." We hadn't eaten since morning. We sat down and ate a little, and the men were trying to reassure us, saying don't be afraid, nothing's going to happen. And so we convinced ourselves that nothing would happen, cer¬tainly they wouldn't force their way into our apartment. . .

At 5:30 there was more noise and that shouting again. I go to the window and look out—a crowd has put our tent, tables, and benches into a pile and set them on fire.

-Irina: The Azerbaijanis in the building across from ours were trying to make them feel ashamed, saying "what are you doing?" They answered, "Keep quiet or it'll be bad for you, too."

-Rima: Then the crowd rushed into our entryway. We lived on the first floor, but at first they didn't bother our apartment, they ran upstairs. Good thing that our name wasn't on the door, just the apartment number. They shouted, "Let's go up to the third floor!" An Armenian family lived on the third floor—Sasha and Lena Avanesian and their two young daughters, Ira and Zhanna.

-Irina: From the kitchen window I see them drag Sasha Avanesian out of the entryway. They drag him out and immediately throw him under a bench. I say "Mother, Uncle Sasha is lying under a bench, I don't know if he's dead or alive." He's completely still. About this time our neighbor returns from the hospital (she had taken her child there) and sees Uncle Sasha, and comes running to our place to call an ambulance. Her name is Sabirgyul. She's an Azerbaijani, her apartment is across from ours. We called an ambu¬lance, and said that people were being killed here. They answered, "We're coming." We reported the fire to the fire department, and they said "We're on our way." But no one came, no one came to help us. We also managed to call the police, but no one came. When the district policeman and the others left they had given us a phone number, and said if anything happens, if there should be an attack, to call. I no longer remember the number, but when I was in the Nasosny village and the investigators asked, I wrote it down for them.

-Rima: Sabirgyul calls and says that people are being killed, but I'm simply overwrought and don't know what to do. Then there's pounding on the door, "Sabirgyul," I say, "tell them this is an Azerbaijani apartment!" She goes to the door and without opening it says that Azerbaijanis live here. They believe her, and I hear someone shout "to the third floor!" When I hear the cries of Sasha and Lena's daughters, it was as though I had been scalded with boiling water. "Girls," I say to my daughters, "quick, into the base-ment." Irina puts up a fight: "Mamma, I'm not going to the basement. You go down; I'll lead them away from you. I speak Azerbaijani well, maybe I can convince them to ..." I say, "Are you crazy, go down to the basement this minute! It's for you . . . it's you I want to save, and you want to stay here? No!" The basement was under a glassed-in balcony; my husband had dug it out four years earlier. I don't know what would have come of us if it weren't for that basement. We went down into it, Irina, Marina and her husband Vladik, their two children, Stella and her husband Andrei, Marina's father-in-law, Sveta, our relative from Baku, and I. Ten people.

One person stayed in the apartment, my daughter Stella's father-in-law. His name is Barmen Bedian. He saved us. You can see the trap door to the basement on the balcony floor, and that's why Barmen stayed, in order to cover it up, to hide the trap door. We had an old rug, he used it to cover up the door, and later, when they broke down the door to the apartment, the entire floor of the balcony was covered with shards of dishes. Later Barmen told me "Rima, I had enough time to get the glasses off the table so they wouldn't figure out that there were a lot of people here. I only left one glass." The poor man, how they beat him . . . now he's here, in Yerevan, in the hos¬pital . . . When they rushed into the apartment he thought only of us: "I for¬got to tell them to unscrew the light bulb in the basement," he thought. But Vladik unscrewed the bulb as soon as we got down there. The switch was on the balcony, and if they turned it on, the light would be seen through the racks in the plank floor and from outside as well, through the basement window.

-Irina: There was a small window there, with a metal grate, for ventila¬tion. Either they didn't see the window or they didn't pay any attention to it. -Rima: Through the window I saw someone climb up the downspout and peer into our kitchen. A couple of others were deciding what to do, and one says "I asked, it's an Azerbaijani apartment." "No," says the other, "Armenian." They break the glass on the balcony, break down the door, and we hear the whole apartment filling up with people. They did what they wanted, breaking things up, stealing, having a great time of it. From the noise and the voices it seemed it was happening right in front of our eyes. As soon as they came in, they started smashing the buffet; broken dishes flew onto the floor. One of them says, "Look how much stuff that Armenian has in here." We had cognac in the bar, they get it out, and someone says "Hey, Armenian cognac!" Someone else says "Don't drink it, it's poisoned." And what went on in the courtyard! We heard Zhanna Avanesian being forced out of the entryway, she's 22 ... They beat her, and her mother was screaming. And the crowd was singing "Vaksaly," which is ... I don't even know how to explain it...

-Rima: It's an Azerbaijani song, they play it at weddings when the bride is brought out of her parents' home. They sang it to taunt her.

-Irina: Zhanna cries out, "Please, please leave me alone, what have I done to you?" Later we learned how she managed to save herself.

-Rima: In our apartment someone started playing the piano; a trained musician from the sound of it. They played "Dary Khuram," an Azerbaijani song.

-Irina: They played a couple of other songs, too. Some of my father's tools were on the balcony. One of them shouts, "Anybody need an axe? They've got everything here, come and get it." We hear the sounds of the tools being handed out. At this point either they had caught Barmen or had brought in one of the neighbors. They got the large photograph of Papa with the black ribbon on it, and they said "Tell us who this is. When did he die?" But there was no answer to their question. They found either my mother's or my pass¬port and asked "Who is this? Where is she?" Again, no answer. Among them were people who spoke perfect Russian. I don't know if they were Russians or Azerbaijanis, but they spoke perfectly, without an accent. They all had terrible voices.

-Rima: They were beating Cherkez Grigorian right under our window, saying, "Come on, answer, are you going to go to Yerevan? Answer!" Cherkez' wife, a woman over 50, was brought out into the courtyard com¬pletely naked, and later they killed her. Cherkez, hurt, was shouting "Emma, Emma!" He cried out and groaned for a long time. He's really in bad shape right now, completely battered and bruised.

-Irina: Besides Aunt Emma, from our part of the building Uncle Yuri was killed. Yuri Avakian. He was burned alive.

-Rima: They took him, alive, and threw him into the fire, where our tent was burning.

-Irina: I don't know who exactly it was they had at that moment, if it was Uncle Cherkez or Uncle Yuri, but I heard the crowd decide to kill him. One says, "Let's burn him." Another says, "No, let's just beat him so that he suf¬fers and dies later." A third says, "Let's cut him up." This all took place just a couple steps away from us, under our kitchen window. I heard the names of two people in the crowd, the ones who were deciding how to do the killing. I think they were the leaders. One was named Aydin, and the other, Faik.

-Rima: How many they killed from the building across the way! Building 6. Many were killed there.

-Irina: They killed Armo Aramian and his son Artur. They burned Artur alive, too. They killed Valodya and Razmella Arushanian, husband and wife. Razmella is actually only considered missing, but everyone knows that she was burned. Ishkhan's father was killed. So was Rafik [Tovmasian].

-Rima: Killing wasn't enough for them. They stole, too. They take my daughter's coat: "Hey look at this coat! Llama!" They drag our rug out over the balcony: "Beautiful rug." They stole everything, down to the last pair of boots. My relatives had taken up money to help me out—they took that, too. And what they didn't want, what they didn't like, they broke or cut up with knives. They played and played on the piano, and then broke it. Finally, toward the end, about the only thing left was the clock. One says, "Hey, look, the clock still works." After that I hear a crash, a cracking sound, and I think, the clock, too." Later I saw what had become of our home ... I can't even describe it; it was like the place had been bombed. Even the curtain in the bathroom, they even tore that. Even that! They didn't take the everyday dishes from the kitchen. Those they broke on the floor and against the walls. They ripped up the pillows with knives. They smashed up the rented china on the balcony, the slivers rained down on me through the cracks between the planks. My daughter, Irina, she's 23 years old, everything was already for her trousseau—the suitcases were packed, I had even bought the wool for the bed ... they carried it all off!

But I couldn't care less about the things, no. How many horrors we lived through down in that basement! Ten hours we were down there, ten hours. It was crowded, we barely all fit in there, and there wasn't any air. Marina and Vladik have two kids. The boy is three, he fell asleep right away. The girl—her name is Diana—she stood there, ten hours that girl stood there with us. I felt around for her, I thought, maybe she's too frightened to breathe. She's five years old, she understands everything. I touch her, and her whole dress is wet, she had broken out into a sweat from the fear. A child, just a child . . . and you don't know, you don't know what to do ... I touch my girls to see if they're still alive, or if they've had heart failure ...

-Irina: I decided . . . it's even funny . . . that if they found us, they would take us out of there ... 1 was planning to convince them, to let everyone else go and they could do what they wanted with me. I'm not married anyway, I don't have anyone . . . Well, of course, everyone was thinking about how to save their own people.

-Rima: At three o'clock in the morning the soldiers on armored troop car¬riers arrived. We hear someone speaking Russian in the courtyard: "Are there any Armenians alive here?" Vladik says, "It's soldiers!" I say, "No, no! What soldiers? They're doing that on purpose to find the people who are hiding." And at first we didn't respond. Later my son-in-law couldn't stand it any more, he opened the trap door. We look out. Sure enough, it was sol¬diers. Thank God! They saved us, took us to the City Council building where they had collected all the Armenians. All of us went out into the courtyard right through the balcony window, we were afraid to go through the rooms. My younger son-in-law and I went to find out what happened to his father, Barmen. He wasn't in our apartment, and I thought then that they had killed him, too.

Mid-March, 1988 Yerevan
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Old 28.02.2008, 17:49   #22
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В Тбилиси почтили память жертв сумгаитской трагедии
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ 28-го февраля в здании Тбилиского Государственного Армянского Драматического Театра прошел памятный вечер, посвященный 20-и летней годовщине армянских погромов в городе Сумгаит и последующих этнических чистках в Баку, Кировабаде и других городах и районах бывшей Азербайджанской ССР. В ходе мероприятия был показан документальный фильм и фотовыставка по теме армянских погромов и начала «Карабахского движения», сообщает Армянский культурный центр Грузии.

Погромы армянского населения, произошедшие в азербайджанском городе Сумгаит с вечера 26 по 29 февраля 1988 г. стали первым массовым взрывом этнического насилия в новейшей советской истории. Сумгаитские погромы продолжались три дня и сопровождались массовыми насилиями, грабежами и убийствами, что привело к первым потокам беженцев из Азербайджана в Нагорный Карабах и Армению. Своевременного расследования обстоятельств погромов, установления и наказания виновных не было проведено, что привело к большей эскалации насилия против армянского населения Азербайджана и Карабаха. По официальным данным, во время погромов было убито 32 человека.
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Old 28.02.2008, 18:53   #23
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Помню эти дни... Мы принимали здесь поток беженцев из Азербайджана, что они только не рассказывали...
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