Ilham Aliyev paid tribute to martyrs of January 20

Ilham Aliyev paid tribute to martyrs of January 20

20 January 1990 went down in the history of modern Azerbaijan as one of the most tragic and, at the same time, heroic dates for our people. Twenty-one years ago, on that horrific night, patriotic children of Azerbaijan decided that the honor and dignity of their native country, the freedom of their people are above anything else and became martyrs. Although it has been 21 years since Soviet troops perpetrated this bloody massacre in Azerbaijan, our people have not forgotten the pain of those horrendous days and are expressing their contempt for the then leaders of the Soviet empire and their servants in Azerbaijan for unleashing suffering on their own citizens.
As a result of the deployment of a large military contingent against large masses of people protesting at the biased and pro-Armenian policies of the Gorbachev-led USSR government, its overt support for Armenia’s territorial claims for historically Azerbaijani lands and the treacherous stance of the then leaders of the republic led to an unseen tragedy in Azerbaijan, especially in Baku, and to the killing of many innocent people. Despite this, instead of standing by their people, the incompetent and slave-like leaders of Azerbaijan continued to hold on to Soviet leadership.
Contrary to that, the great son of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, who lived in Moscow at the time, put his own life at risk by going to Azerbaijan’s permanent representative office on the day following the tragedy, making a harshly-worded statement condemning the perpetrators of the Bloody January events and informing the world of the atrocities unleashed on our people. By doing so, our great leader demonstrated his courage, bravery and dedication to his people.
However, this Armenian-orchestrated crime could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people or put out their love of freedom. Our people managed to fulfill their dream of freedom and independence, albeit at such a high cost, and will never let go of this achievement.
The massacre perpetrated by the Soviet military machine in Azerbaijan was an act of unseen aggression and execution of citizens by its own state. It represented a flagrant breach of the Constitutions of the former USSR and the Azerbaijan SSR. By sending troops to crush the civilian population on that day, the USSR government flouted the UN Charter, international law and a number of clauses of the 1966 International Treaty on Civil and Political Rights of which it had been a member.
After Azerbaijan’s nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev returned to power in Azerbaijan, a political assessment of the 20 January events was given in 1994 and the names of those guilty of the crime made public. Since then 20 January has been commemorated as a day of national mourning.
Every year on this date, the people of Azerbaijan pay tribute to the 20 January martyrs.
As is the case every year, the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan has prepared an extensive program of activities to mark the 21st anniversary of the Bloody January. Commemorative ceremonies are being held in all cities and districts of the republic, by Azerbaijani embassies in foreign countries and Azerbaijani communities abroad. Such nationwide tribute shows that the memory of martyrs is eternal. This eternity lives in our independence, unity and prosperous future.
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President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva arrived at the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate the victims of the bloody January tragedy.
President Ilham Aliyev laid a wreath at the "Eternal flame" monument.
The detached exemplary military orchestra of the Ministry of Defense performed the National Anthem of Azerbaijan.
The state and government officials, leaders of the religious communities, ambassadors of foreign countries in Azerbaijan and representatives of international organizations were among those attending the commemoration ceremony.
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Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov and Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev also attended the commemoration ceremony at the Martyr’s Alley.

 
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