Azerbaijan honors memory of victims of January 20 tragedy

 By Fikret Dolukhanov

The people of Azerbaijan annually honours with deep respect the victims of the January 20 tragedy. Memorial events were held throughout the country and abroad on Sunday.

State and government officials, heads of religious communities in our republic, ambassadors of foreign countries in Azerbaijan, representatives of international organizations honored the memory of the martyrs.

On January 20, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited the Alley of Martyrs to honor the bright memory of those who died during the tragedy of the Bloody January.

Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov, Chairman of the Milli Mejlis Ogtay Asadov and Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev attended the ceremony of visiting the Alley of Martyrs.

On the National Mourning Day, the leadership and personnel of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan also visited the Alley of Martyrs.

The soldiers paid tribute to the memory of our citizens who fell for the freedom and independence of the motherland and laid flowers on their graves.

The staff of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) also visited the Alley of Martyrs.

The leadership and representatives of the SOCAR visited the Alley of Martyrs, expressed deep respect for the memory of the Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence and freedom of our country, bowed their heads in front of their souls.

Thousands of people who came to the Alley of Martyrs laid flowers on the graves of the Martyrs, remembering them, read prayers for the rest of their souls.

At 12:00, throughout Azerbaijan, the memory of the victims of the January 20 tragedy was honoured with a minute of silence.

Ships in the Baku seaport, cars on the roads of the capital and trains gave a whistle to commemorate the victims of the bloody events.

Commemoration events were held in the diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan around the world as well.

In particular, a commemoration ceremony was held at the embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Russian Federation in connection with the 29th anniversary of the January 20 tragedy.

Together with compatriots living in this country, representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora, leaders and representatives of diplomatic corps accredited in Russia, representatives of the Russian public and political figures honored the memory of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the Azerbaijani people.

During the event, a photo stand dedicated to the tragedy of January 20 was presented to the guests.

A number of events were also held in Georgia, where members of the Association of Businessmen of Azerbaijan visited the families of Martyrs living in the Marneuli, Bolnisi, Gardabani and Sagarejo districts.

In honor of the 29th anniversary of the January 20 tragedy, Azerbaijanis living in France visited the graves of representatives of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in Paris.

In Azerbaijan itself, in addition to the capital Baku, commemorative events were held in all cities and districts. Large ceremonies were organized in Agjabedi, Barda, Bilesuvar, Gakh, Guba, Jalilabad, Ismayilli and other parts of the country. In a number of regions, marches were held in memory of the Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Azerbaijan. Heads of the district executive authorities and representatives of the public took part in the marches.

Respect for the souls of the martyrs was expressed. The terrible events that occurred to civilians on January 20, 1990 were once again commemorated.

29 years have passed since the bloody events of January 20, 1990, which became a symbol of sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

On the night of January 19-20, 1990, the military units of the former Soviet Union attacked the civilian population of Baku both from the sea and from land, thereby committing an unprecedented bloody crime against humanity. As a result, 132 innocent civilians in Azerbaijan died, 744 were injured, 841 were illegally arrested. Among the victims were minors, old men and women. This crime, committed against the peaceful population of Azerbaijan by the Soviet Army on the orders of the USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, is written in the history of humankind in bloody letters.

Using materials from the official chronicle and Report