NKR to mark 13th independence anniversary

RIA Novosti, Russia
Aug 30 2004


YEREVAN, August 30 (RIA Novosti’s Hamlet Matevosyan) – On September 2
gala festivities will take place in Stepanakert and other regions of
the republic in connection with the 13th anniversary of the
proclamation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

As RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the NKR’s Foreign
Ministry, the first lesson in the educational establishments of the
republic will be devoted to the Day of Proclamation of the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Members of the government, MPs and
representatives of the Army will come to schools and universities on
that day.

Columns of NKR’s Defense Army servicemen will march out in the
morning in Stepanakert’s streets.

Representatives of the republic’s authorities and the public, as well
as the guests from Armenia and Russia will visit the Stepanakert
memorial complex. Famous performers invited from Russia and Armenia
will take part in the concerts.

Nagorny Karabakh is a region on the territory of Azerbaijan with
predominantly Armenian population. A tough territorial dispute over
Nagorny Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia exacerbated in 1998
during the “perestroika” period in the Soviet Union. Mass pogroms
against Armenians took place in Sumgait in Azerbaijan, which resulted
in dozens of people killed, hundreds of wounded, and thousands
becoming refugees. Baku imposed an economic blockade on the
rebellious region. In 1989 full-scale hostilities flared up which,
following the USSR’s disintegration in 1991, turned into a war. On
May 5, 1994, in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzia, Azerbaijan, Nagorny
Karabakh and Armenia, with the mediation efforts of Russia, Kyrgyzia
and the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, signed a protocol on
cessation of hostilities beginning from May 12, 1994.

Meanwhile, as RIA Novosti correspondent reports from the capital of
Azerbaijan, on Monday a sentence was passed in Baku upon chairman of
the Karabakh Liberation Organization (KLO) Akif Nagi and five members
of this organization who protested against the participation of the
Armenian military in the concluding session of the NATO Conference
“Cooperative Best Effort -2004 in Baku.

The KLO leader was sentenced to five years in prison, four members of
this organization – to four years in prison, vice-chaiman of the KLO
Firuddin Mamedov, invalid of the Karabakh war, – to three years in
general security prison.

The KLO members were charged with blocking traffic in Baku near the
Europa hotel where the NATO conference was held, as well as with the
penetration into the hotel using force against the hotel’s guards, an
attempt to thwart the conference and inflicting damage on the hotel
to the sum of about $340.

During the court hearing all the accused did not plead guilty stating
that the only thing they wanted was to stage a picket in front of the
hotel against the Armenian military’s participation in the NATO
conference in the capital of Azerbaijan.