Azerbaijani Genocide commemorated in Los-Angeles
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 1 / Trend , N. Abdullayeva/
Azerbaijani Genocide was commemorated in Los-Angeles.
The commemoration event was organized by Azerbaijan-America Council (AAC) and Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA).
A total of 91 years ago, from March 30 to April 3, 1918, forces of the Bolshevik Baku Soviet, aided by the armed militia of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), carried out an attack on Muslim quarters of Baku city massacring close to 12,000 Azerbaijani civilians. These four days of carnage, known in Western historical references as "March Days", unraveled a wave of mass killings committed by forces of Baku Soviet and Dashnak militia in other parts of Azerbaijan from April through August 1918.
According to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, any act committed with an intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group is considered to be an act of genocide.
Such intent was clear in the decision of Baku Soviet to assist one of the sides in an ethnic strife, Dashnaks, to isolate and annihilate another side, Muslim Azerbaijanis solely based on their ethnicity. In fact, treating March Massacres as a victory, the leader of Baku Soviet, Stepan Shaumyan, himself an Armenian, proclaimed: "For us the results of the battle were brilliant. The destruction of the enemy was complete".
The policy of mass deportations and ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis continued throughout 20th century under the Soviet rule. In 1948 and again in 1964, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were deported from Armenia and resettled in Azerbaijan. In 1988, within few months, over 200,000 remaining Azerbaijanis were forced out of Armenia, forming the first wave of refugees in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and turning Armenia into a mono-ethnic state. The culmination of hateful crimes against ethnic Azerbaijanis was the 1992 massacre in the town of Khojaly which, according to Armenian field commander, was "an act of revenge" against an entire nation.
While "March Days" were always remembered by Azerbaijani people, since 1998, by the presidential decree, March 31 is marked officially as a Day of Azerbaijani Genocide. On this day, joining Azerbaijani-Americans in remembrance of victims of all crimes against humanity, AAC and ASA appeal for a fair assessment of "March Days", in order to seek justice, healing and lasting peace in the region of South Caucasus.
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