March 31 – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis

Baku: 97 years have passed since the genocide committed by the members of Armenian Dashnak party in concert with Bolsheviks against Azerbaijanis.

The massacre of about 20,000 innocent people – elderly, women and children started at the night of March 30, 1918.

During the massacre that lasted from March 30 to April 2, Armenian Bolshevik troops led by Stepan Shaumyan killed thousands of people, burnt Muslim shrines and confiscated the 400-million-manat estate of Baku residents. Tezepir Mosque was bombed, and one of the magnificent architectural buildings – Ismailiyyeh was burnt.

The genocide policy against Azerbaijanis was not limited to only Baku. Armenian dashnaks killed 8,027 Azerbaijanis, including 2,560 women and 1,277 in 53 villages of Shamakhy on March 31. 16,000 Azerbaijanis were murdered in 162 villages of Guba. Armenian dashnaks burnt thousands of villages in Lenkeran, Mughan and Nagorno Karabakh and killed thousands of people. Special Investigation Commission set up by Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on July 15, 1918 gathered a great deal of documents and submitted to the government.

Azerbaijani parliament made a decision on marking March 31 as the day of Azerbaijani genocide in 1919. Though this date was forgotten during the Soviet period, a lot of investigations on the tragedies committed on March 31, 1918, were carried out and books were published after Azerbaijan gained its independence. President Heydar Aliyev issued a decree on March 26, 1998 to commemorate March 31 as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis.

March 31 – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis will be marked in different countries of the world in commemorative events and conferences.

SOURCE: Azeri Press News Agency