The Embassy of Azerbaijan in Hungary organized event on the 24th anniversary of Black January tragedy. Members of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Hungary, representatives of NGOs, businessmen, as well as Hungarians, who are interested in Azerbaijan attended the event. The event started with a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy.
Speakers highlighted the events that happened in January 20, 1990 when the Soviet troops stormed Baku to commit a massacre against civilian Azerbaijanis, who were protesting in the streets for the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Soviet army began to open fire on protesters at will, crushed with tanks, and arrested hundreds of people for imprisonment and torture. Participants mentioned that this day is one of the most tragic days in modern history of the country, but at the same time heroic one well. This helped independence wish of Azerbaijanis came true. It weakened the Soviet rule in Azerbaijan and led to the regaining of independence of Azerbaijan in October 18, 1991. The participants of the event watched a documentary video and viewed photos reflecting the horrors of Black January tragedy.
Along with Baltic countries, the national movement in Azerbaijan became one of the strongest in the former Soviet Union to courageously express the highest level of political discontent with the regime. As it was the case peaceful demonstrations in Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vilnius (Lithuania) the Soviet regime responded with violent crackdown in Baku (Azerbaijan) as well. At midnight on January 19-20, 1990, without any prior notification, the Soviet military entered Baku and fired at the civilians. 137 of protestors were killed by the Soviet army and more than 700 persons were injured during that night. Besides Azerbaijanis, other inhabitants of Baku, including 6 Russians, 3 Tatars, 3 Jews were killed. Among the killed there were 4 policemen, 1 doctor, and 4 scholars. International organizations called this violence as exercise in collective punishment, crime against independence-seeking Azerbaijan.
The day the tragedy took place later came to be known as Black January (or Bloody January, Black Saturday), is widely commemorated in Azerbaijan and by Azerbaijani communities around the world, and marked as Day of the Nationwide Sorrow in the country.
Source: Embassy of Azerbaijan – Press-service