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armenian people

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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
In Recognition Of The Victims Of Sumgait Pogroms February 27, 2015
Frank Pallone, D-NJ
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the Sumgait pogroms—violent riots that resulted in the murder of hundreds of Armenians. This was perhaps one of the most gruesome atrocities in a series of hostile acts against the Armenian people."
Sumgait Pogroms February 27, 2015
Adam Schiff, D-CA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the pogrom against the Armenian residents of the town of Sumgait, Azerbaijan. On this day in 1988, and for three days following, Azerbaijani mobs assaulted and killed Armenians. When the violence finally subsided, hundreds of Armenian civilians had been brutally murdered and injured, women and young girls were raped, and some victims were tortured and burned to death. Those that survived the carnage fled their homes and businesses, leaving behind all but the clothes on their backs. The Sumgait Pogroms came in the wake of a pattern of anti-Armenian rallies throughout Azerbaijan, aided and encouraged by high ranking officials in the Azeri government, and touched off a wave of violence culminating in the 1990 Pogroms in Baku. In a pattern all too familiar to the Armenian people, the Azerbaijani authorities made little effort to punish those responsible, instead attempting to cover up the atrocities in Sumgait to this day, as well as denying the role of senior government officials in instigating the violence. The Sumgait massacres led to wider reprisals against Azerbaijan’s Armenian ethnic minority, resulting in the virtual disappearance of a once thriving population of 450,000 Armenians living in Azerbaijan, and culminating in the war launched against the people of Nagorno Karabakh. That war resulted in thousands dead on both sides and created over one million refugees in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Time has not healed the wounds of those killed and hurt in the pogroms in Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku. To the contrary, hatred of Armenians is celebrated in Azeri society, a situation most vividly exemplified by the case of Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani army captain who savagely murdered an Armenian army lieutenant, Gurgen Margaryan with an axe while he slept. The two were participating in a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise at the time in Hungary. In 2012, Safarov was sent home to Azerbaijan, purportedly to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Instead, he was pardoned, promoted, and paraded through the streets of Baku in a sickening welcome home. And as we speak, Azerbaijan continues its dangerous and provocative behavior along its border with Armenia and in Karabakh. Mr. Speaker, this April we will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, an event the Turkish government, Azerbaijan’s closest ally, goes to great lengths to deny. We must not let such crimes against humanity go unrecognized, whether they occurred yesterday or 27 years ago or 100 years ago. Today, let us pause to remember the victims of the atrocities of the Sumgait pogroms. Mr. Speaker, it is our moral obligation to condemn crimes of hatred and to remember the victims, in hope that history will not be repeated."
Armenian Genocide Anniversary April 10, 2014
Edward Markey, D-MA
"That is why today’s passage by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the genocide resolution in advance of the 99th anniversary is so historic. I was proud to vote for this important resolution today in committee, and I will keep fighting to ensure its passage by the full Senate. I will continue to work with the Armenian-American community to build a prosperous and bright future for the Armenian people."
Commemorating The Sumgait Pogroms March 6, 2014
Frank Pallone, D-NJ
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the Sumgait pogroms. The Sumgait pogroms consisted of the murder of hundreds of Armenians, making it a particularly atrocious event in a long history of hostility against the Armenian people. I would like to recognize the anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms and remind all of us that it is our duty to act when a people are targeted with violence. Our commitment to remembering this injustice strengthens our determination to obtain peace."
Recognizing Victims Of The Mass Murder Of Armenians March 6, 2014
Gary Peters, D-MI
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to raise awareness of the mass murder of Armenians during the state-sponsored pogroms 26 years ago in Sumgait, Azerbaijan. These ethnically motivated mass killings were an affront to basic human rights and the continued lack of international recognition and acknowledgment represents a grave injustice. Peaceful demonstrations by Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, who sought freedom and protested against policies that discriminated against Armenians, were met with violence against the Armenians of Sumgait, who were hundreds of miles away, defenseless, and targeted simply because they were Armenians. Nearby security forces allowed the violence to continue unabated and turned a blind eye to the horrific violence directed against Armenian civilians. True democracies must respect the rights of the minority and the human rights of all residents. On July 27, 1988, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Amendment 2690, which called upon the Soviet government to “respect the legitimate aspirations of the Armenian people”, and noted that “dozens of Armenians have been killed and hundreds injured during the recent unrest.” The U.S. Senate passed an amendment in July 1988, acknowledging that even the Soviet authorities had described these massacres as a `pogrom’. Today, I remember the victims and ask this body to join me in honoring their memories."

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