Today marks 23 years since the Black January events when the Soviet army invaded Azerbaijan`s capital, Baku, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent and defenseless people.
The 20th of January, 1990 entered into the modern history of Azerbaijan as one of the most tragic days, and at the same time as a heroic page.
The terror act committed by the Soviet empire against of innocent people who took to streets in protest against the biased policy of the empire’s criminal leadership, overtly supporting Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan, will remain forever in the history of mankind as one of the worst crimes against humanity.
That terrible day elevated the country’s brave sons and daughters, who died while defending their freedom, honor and dignity, to martyrdom.
Despite it has been 23 years since the Soviet Army’s bloody invasion of Baku, people in Azerbaijan continue to live with pain of that tragic night in their hearts, and express their hatred for those who committed that inhuman deed.
Every year on this day hundreds of thousands of people visit the Alley of Martyrs in Baku to pay tribute to Azerbaijan`s valiant sons and daughters.
The Black January was nothing but a state`s massacre of its people. It was a vast violation of the constitutions of the former USSR and the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic. By sending troops against peaceful people the Soviet Union – led by Mikhail Gorbachev – roughly violated international legal norms, including the United Nations` Charter and the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.
However, the then authorities of Azerbaijan failed to find courage for themselves to stand by their people even at such a difficult moment.
Unlike them, Azerbaijan’s great son Heydar Aliyev, who then lived in Moscow, came to Azerbaijan’s permanent representative office - a day after the tragedy – and strongly condemned those who committed the January massacre, thereby once again demonstrating his courage and bravery and his devotion to his people.
However, that bloody action, incited by Armenians, failed to crush the Azerbaijani people’s will and aspiration to freedom.
The Azerbaijani people gained their independence and freedom for the price of their blood, and they will never give them away.
It is national leader Heydar Aliyev`s returning to power in Azerbaijan, that made it possible in 1994 to give a legal and political assessment to the January 20 tragedy and identify the offenders.
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The Administration of the President has prepared a plan of action to commemorate the 23th anniversary of the January tragedy.
On Sunday morning President Ilham Aliyev visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate the victims of the bloody tragedy.
The President laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument as a military orchestra of the defense ministry played the national anthem of Azerbaijan.
Attending the commemoration ceremony were state and government officials, religious leaders, ambassadors of foreign countries and representatives of international organizations functioning in Baku.
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Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, speaker of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov and head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev were among the participants of the commemorative ceremony. /AzerTAc/ 11:03