US congressmen commemorate Sumgait, condemn Aylisli persecution

US congressmen commemorate Sumgait, condemn Aylisli persecution

11:56 – 01.03.13

Photo by Asbarez

US Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) have commemorated the 25th anniversary of the
Azerbaijani pogroms against the Armenian population of the Azerbaijani
city of Sumgait, and condemned the ongoing atmosphere of violence and
intimidation being fostered by the government of President Ilham
Aliyev, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

`The history of the past quarter century has been one of Artsakh’s
enduring democratic triumph over relentless Azerbaijani government
aggression, blockades, intolerance, and war. We look to American
leaders, revolutionary heirs to the world’s greatest independence
movement, to help support and sustain the proud victory of a free
people against foreign tyranny, against massacres, outright war,
economic blockade, ongoing sniper attacks, and, now, a Baku-led
international campaign to demonize each and every Armenian on the
planet,’ said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. `We join with
Armenians in New Jersey, California and across the nation in thanking
Congressman Pallone and Congressman Schiff for continuing to raise
their voices in support of a peaceful, democratic, secure, and
sustainable resolution that will end Azerbaijani threats against the
free citizens of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.’

In remarks submitted to the Congressional Record, Representative
Pallone reminded his colleagues, `it was on the evening of February
27, 1988, that hundreds of Armenians were brutally murdered, some
burned alive and others thrown from windows.’ Pallone went on to
explain that the Sumgait pogroms were the beginning of decades of
violence, fomented by successive Azerbaijani government leaders. `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,’ stated the New Jersey
legislator. Rep. Pallone went on to urge the immediate reincarceration
of Ramil Safarov by the Aliyev government.

In additional to citing Azerbaijani brutality in Sumgait and Safarov’s
murder of Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan, Rep. Schiff cited the
Aliyev regime’s recent crackdown against 75-year-old Azerbaijani
writer Akram Aylisli. `According to a report in the BBC, `[h]is books
have been publicly burnt. He has been stripped of his national
literary awards. And a high-ranking Azeri politician has offered
$13,000 as a bounty for anyone who will cut off his ear. Aylisi’s
crime: in his short novel Stone Dreams, he dared to look at the
conflict between Azeris and Armenians from the Armenian perspective,’
explained Rep. Schiff. `With these disgusting acts, the Azeri state
reminded the whole world why the people of Artsakh must be allowed to
determine their own future and cannot be allowed to slip into Aliyev’s
clutches, lest the carnage of Sumgait a quarter century ago serve as a
foreshadowing of a greater slaughter,’ concluded the legislator.

From: Baghdasarian