Speech of Hon. Frank Pallone, Jr. of NJ in the House of Reps

US Official News
March 1, 2013 Friday



The Library of Congress, The Government of USA has issued the following Speech:

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, again this year I stand to recognize an
important period that remains a strong reminder that we must continue
to address violent human tragedies whenever they occurred. The
American and Armenian people use this time of year to recommit
themselves to preventing any further violence. We do this because we
mark the anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms where hundreds of
Armenians were murdered as a result of long-running hostilities
directed towards the Armenian people.

I ask that my colleagues join me in solemnly commemorating the death
of these innocent lives. It was on the evening of February 27, 1988
that hundreds of Armenians were brutally murdered, some burned alive
and others thrown from windows. Included in the violence was the rape
of women and the maiming of children. Armenians saw their belongings
stolen, their shops destroyed and thousands were displaced from their
homes. To add to the human tragedy, police turned a blind eye thus
allowing the pogroms to go on for three days.

Unfortunately, the underlying hostility that led to the outbreak and
continued violence of the Sumgait pogroms continues to survive today.
For more than two decades, authorities in Azerbaijan have attempted to
ignore and cover up these crimes and have instead fostered hatred
toward the Armenian people. In an affront to basic senses of justice,
the Azerbaijani government recently pardoned Azerbaijani military
officer, Ramil Safarov who was sentenced to life in prison in Hungary
for murdering an Armenian military officer during a NATO-sponsored
training program in 2004. I continue to be outraged by this promotion
of violence against innocent Armenians.

I ask that my colleagues join me in calling on Azerbaijan to fully
recognize the Sumgait pogroms and to give an accurate historical
account of the events. I also ask my colleagues to join me in calling
upon the Azerbaijani government to acknowledge Ramil Safarov as a
convicted murderer and immediately take action commensurate with a
democratic nation that supports justice under the rule of law.
Azerbaijan must break from its current course and take action to
create a peaceful future.

As co-chair and founder of the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus, I
know that the caucus will continue its work to ensure that the basic
rights of life, liberty and security are promoted throughout the
Caucasus region. We will continue to advocate for a peaceful
resolution to conflict in the region. We will continue to call on
Azerbaijan to cease its hostilities toward the Armenian people and
stand for justice whenever it is violated.

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