Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Azerbaijan: Black January  

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  • Mikhail Gorbachev.

    Mikhail Gorbachev.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The events of 27 years ago in Baku, would have always made an impression in the memory of Azerbaijani people and the grief that tore the heart will be taken until the last breath.

    We never know what was in Gorbachev’s head when he had ordered his soldiers to invade Baku that morning on January 20, 1990. Soviet’s soldiers attacked the capital from all side; land, sea, and air and caused 133 people dead, 700 injured, and more than 800 people had been detained without any proper procedures.

    The statements from Soviet Supreme Leaders justified the attack on Baku as part of the evacuation of the Armenians was the biggest lie and it hurt the people of Azerbaijan, resulting the most powerful resistence like the hottest waves that was unstoppable.

    How could someone get a prestigious award such as the Nobel Peace Prize while nine months before, he commanded to attack innocent people and cause they lost their lives.

    Moscow blocked all information about what was happening in Baku from the eyes and ears of the international community; blocking of the Radio and Television as well as printed media. The news source can only be obtained from the Azerbaijan Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

    A few weeks before Gorbachev ordered the invansion, the Azerbaijani people destroyed the border’s fence that separated them from their brothers, the Azerbaijan ethnic group who residing in the territory of Iran and the Azerbaijani People’s Front took over number of government offices in the entire of republic.

    On January 9, Armenian SSR took over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh that was an enclave dominated by Armenian ethnic group in Azerbaijan by including the region into the budget of Armenia SSR that allow citizens of Karabakh to vote in Armenian elections.

    Azerbaijan People's Front took control in many regions of the republic, and on January 18 asked the residents of Baku to close the main access routes to the capital to block any Soviet troops entering Baku.

    On January 19, Gorbachev signed a decree calling for the introduction of force to restore order, to block all actions carried out by the People's Front of Azerbaijan, as well as preventing the anti-Armenian actions. Around 26,000 Soviet troops entered Baku and killed at least 100 people.

    Internationally, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as territory of Azerbaijan and reinforced by statement made by the British Parliament and the report of David Atkinson who represents the Committee of Political Affairs of the Council of the Assembly Parliament of Europe (PACE), stating that the border region of Azerbaijan is internationally recognized at that time as an independent country in 1991, and the Nagorno-Karabakh is included in the region of Azerbaijan.

    On 22 January, supreme leaders of Azerbaijan SSR held a meeting and condemned the actions carried by Soviet troops on January 20, 1990. The world finally knew that Black January events in Baku, even though the people of Azerbaijan never receive any particular and extensive attention like the killing events that occurred in Lithuania and Latvia.

    The bloody events of January 20th became the biggest mistakes made by Gorbachev against the Azerbaijan that were once part of the Soviet Union, and he admitted on his statement in Istanbul on April 27, 1995. The award he obtained through the Nobel Peace Prize inversely proportional to the silence of hundreds of lives who were martyred for the country, a very ironic happening. A year and three days after Mikhail Gorbachev received his Nobel Peace Prize in Sweden, Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence, on October 18, 1991.

    As other nations in the world, the people of Azerbaijan are the people who naturally have the basic human rights. The Universal Declaration also includes civil and politics rights, thus also includes the rights of economic, social, and cultural.

    Azerbaijani people always want to live together with other nations as part of the international community that obeys the creation of world’s peace. Today on January 20, 2017, all the people of Azerbaijan in every places in the world will commemorate the martyrs of the nation who died 27 years ago. Baku will open the gate and heart widely for anyone who would present and give the honor to those who have been martyred for the interest of a tyranny that still plays its role continuously. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the international document that states the basic rights and fundamental freedom for all human beings and that should be respected.

    NIA S. AMIRA, Arts & Culture and History Journalist


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