US congressman issues statement on 30th anniversary of January 20 tragedy
BAKU, JAN 15 – Paul Gosar, a member of the US House of Representatives, has made a statement on the 30th anniversary of the January 20 tragedy.
The statement reads: “I rise today in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the events in Azerbaijan culminating in what is now known as Black January. In January 1990, the former U.S.S.R. attempted to continue to suppress freedom and impose its political will on the people of Azerbaijan. At that time, however, the people of Azerbaijan decided that they had enough of Soviet control and resisted.
At night, the Red Army marched into Baku to stem the movements for equality and freedom. While the Azeris used peaceful protests and calls for freedom, the Soviets responded with guns and tanks. These actions resulted in 147 civilian deaths, with hundreds more wounded and imprisoned.
The Azeris had seen what happened to prior independence movements in the Soviet Union, yet they persevered on. This tragedy only emboldened them in their cause, carrying on the mission of their countrymen which culminated in their August 1991 independence.
Since this monumental declaration, Azerbaijan has been a beacon of freedom in the region as well as a friend and ally of the United States. At this time, we memorialize those fallen and celebrate the continued strength of the Republic of Azerbaijan. I strongly urge my colleagues to recognize Black January and join in the honoring of allies in Azerbaijan and their quest for liberation.”
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