Failure to condemn Sumgait ‘grave political error’ – former ombudsperson

17:13 • 02.03.18



The failure to give a proper political and legal evaluation to the Armenian pogroms in Sumgait should be treated as an unforgivable political error on the part of our authorities, according to a former ombudsperson.


Speaking to Tert.am, Larisa Alaverdyan noted that the tragic events were never duly condemned over the past 30 years despite being under a permanent spotlight.


According to her, the heinous crimes, committed against the Armenians in Azerbaijan, were tantamount to the 1915 Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. She noted that none of the thousands' of survivors or their descendants received a proper attention by the state to benefit from social or legal assistance programs.


“Those people suffered moral, financial and psychological losses, with neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia considering any material compensation for them. Neither have any moral or political evaluations been given. All those subjected to, or eye-witnessing, brutalities are legally considered victims of torture. But despite [their status] as such, they enjoy absolutely no protection,” she said.

Alaverdyan, who now heads the NGO Against Legal Arbitrariness, said she is under the impression that there Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached a political consent to keep silence on the Sumgait events. She noted that despite Armenia’s move to recognize all the former Soviet republics as subjects of international law (after they all proclaimed independence in 1991) with inviolable borders, Azerbaijan has not to date signed the corresponding interstate agreement.


“Armenia did not make any reservation with respect to Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh], which was conducting a national-liberation campaign at the time; the issue was never raised anywhere. And one of the reasons that the Azerbaijan[i state] came into being was practically the continuation of the Genocide,” she added.


Addressing the European Parliament’s recent statement condemning the pogroms, Alaverdyan noted that its authors were the MEPs who were blacklisted by Azerbaijan for earlier visits to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

 

“The EU ambassador to Azerbaijan recently talked some nonsense about the Khojalu events in Azerbaijan. The report about it was certainly deleted later, but [the question is] whether anyone in Armenia sought any comments or evaluations by Piotr Switalski, the EU ambassador here. No. So we are losing the game – in terms of both our policies, and outcomes,” she added.

 

 

 

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





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