20 January – a Day of Mourning for Azerbaijan   

کو شائع کی گئی۔ January 21, 2015    ·(TOTAL VIEWS 1,358)      No Comments

20 January – a Day of Mourning for Azerbaijan

But adjudged as the Rebirth of the Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan is known as ‘Republic of Azerbaijan’ is situated in the Caucasus region as contiguous transcontinental presidential republic at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.and Baku is its capital. It’s 25 years since “Black January,” what Azerbaijan calls the time when Soviet troops uttered a massacre of thousands of people in one bloody night on the plea of its t doomed attempt to save the Soviet Union. Thousands of people were arrested, displaced and pushed behind the bar without any crime. Local TV transmitters were blown up to conceal their heinous actions from the outside world. Whereas their crackdown had strengthened the independence movement, resulting as rebirth of Azerbaijan Republic which caused ‘Azerbaijan’ sovereign state in a year time.


Baku has seen numerous bloods shedding in the past as well. As “Prof Atakhan Pashayev in his book ‘March 1918 Massacre in Baku’ states on page 32-36 states that Thousands of Azerbaijanis were killed in three days of slaughter at the end of March 1918, when Armenian nationalists went on the rampage in Baku. In this article Prof Atakhan Pashayev looks at events leading up to the massacre and at how Bolshevik leaders sought to play down its significance. As result the Armenians gained privileges in Badu’s oil industry which was rapidly developed and the Baku city became an oil hub in the era of late 19th and early 20th centuries and attracted a wave of Armenian migration to the city.

The Christian Armenians were obedient subjects of the Russian Empire, so the imperial government used them as a tool in their Eastern policy. The Armenians were, therefore, able to gain privileges from the government in Baku’s oil industry and soon became the major entrepreneurs in Baku oil. The Armenians dominated the industry to such an extent that they were able to dictate their will to the Congress of Baku Oil Entrepreneurs.

Because of these reason Soviet Union has always been showing its greed to this oil rich terrain and always kept it clutched in her strong jaws. Hence the black January also known as Black Saturday or January Massacre was the continuity of the repeated massacre of unfortunate Azerbaijani population in Baku elsewhere in the country. Azerbaijani people declared January 19-20, 1990 as black day’ because of violent, brutal and barbaric crackdown by Russian troops.


On 18 January 1990 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR without coordination of the Azerbaijani parliament issued a decree which ‘authorized’ Soviet troops a raid in the city of Baku to choke the voice of people , to stop the demonstrations and the movement. So under the shadow of presidium, at midnight of 19- 20 January USSR armed forces invaded the capital city Baku and committed horrible crimes against Azerbaijani people. That was the bloodiest night in which the soviet troops have crossed all the levels of indecency and displayed all possible cruelty against the inhabitants of the city. Chemical weapons were used indiscriminately and even ambulances were taking the wounded persons were attacked and also mutilated dead bodies. Their heinous act was not only a clear violation of principles of international law but also a serious crime against the humanity. It was a huge human loss where thousands of innocent people were brutally killed by USSR troops.

The day after the strategic incident in the presence of Soviet Army the brave Azerbaijani people displayed ‘banners’ in the streets of Baku city by showing their hatred against the Soviet Army and leadership which resulted to flee the entire leadership for their escape and refuge I Moscow. The next morning was a mourning day for Azerbaijani people. The martyred were as buried and a monument was erected in the memory of those who laid their lives as mile stones for the road leading towards independence of the country as independent sovereign state.

Every year millions of Azerbaijanis visit Martyrs’ Avenue and lay carnations on the graves. This ceremony begins in the early morning when the president of the Republic and representatives of foreign countries lay wreaths at the eternal flame.


The massacre in the night of January19- 20, 1990 has created hater down deep in the hearts of Azerbaijani people who decided to get freedom from soviet regime. So on October 18, 1991, the Azerbaijan parliament restored the country’s independence and the General Prosecutor had instituted a probable cause targeted at the individuals involved in the massacre. 

Since 1994, the National Assembly of Azerbaijan has opted to a full political and legal evaluation of the Black January events. According to the decree of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev from December 16, 1999, all victims of the crackdown were awarded an honorary title of the “Martyr of January 20” hence the day of the January 20 is marked as Martyrs’ Day (or literally, “the Day of the Nationwide Sorrow”), black day in Azerbaijan. On the other hand it may be well understood that 20 January – a Day of Mourning in Azerbaijan but may be adjudged as the ‘Rebirth’ of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Written by: Dr.Raja.M.Javaid Janjua

Bureau Chief UNP, Islamabad


Readers Comments (0)

WordPress Blog