The Sumgait pogrom at the end of February 1988 marked the beginning of officially organized mass violence against the Armenian minority in Azerbaijan. Within two years, thousands are murdered, tortured and raped.
Over 300,000 Armenians are fleeing nationalist-motivated violence against Armenian civilians in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. The then Soviet central government failed to use its security forces to protect the persecuted Armenians in good time.
Since the perpetrators of Sumgait went almost unpunished and were later even rehabilitated, this encouraged further pogroms in Baku, Ganja (Kirovabad) and in many other cities and villages of Azerbaijan, a massacre of the Armenian population of the village of Maragha (Nagorno-Karabakh) , on war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war that Azerbaijan began in late 1991 against the predominantly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh with the aim of regaining control of that independence-seeking region. In a war that was never officially declared, Azerbaijan bombed the undefended capital of Karabakh Stepanakert and also used cluster bombs in violation of international law.
While murderers of Armenians receive state rewards, those intellectuals who work for peace and coming to terms with history must fear for their lives: Ramil Safarov, who murdered an Armenian in his sleep at a NATO conference in Budapest in 2004, was killed by the Azerbaijani Government ransomed, promoted and rewarded.
Since 1989, Azerbaijan has been trying to starve and economically isolate Karabakh and Armenia through a blockade that violates international law. And to this day, the Azerbaijani government's attempts to arm Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia to death thanks to petrodollars continue.