Sumgait: Remembering the Massacre 25 Years On

London’s Armenians observed the 25th anniversary of the Sumgait massacre on Sunday, March 3rd.

Across 3 days in February 1988 hundreds of innocent Armenian civilians lost their lives at the hands of a merciless and barbaric mob, whose actions were instigated by the state and thereafter unpunished by the authorities. As this dark event in the pages of history is largely unknown to the general public, the demonstration – organised by CRAG and AYF London – was designed with raising public awareness at its core. Appropriately, Trafalgar Square was chosen as the site as it holds the tradition of hosting such political rallies.

Passers-by were handed leaflets, outlining the basics of the crime, as well as free copies of the book The Sumgait Syndrome so as to aid their deeper self-education. With placards in hand and flags raised we 70-or-so embraced the cold for four hours: it would have undoubtedly been a warmer scene had more of us gathered.

It’s noteworthy that what happened there a quarter-century ago could be argued to constitute genocide; although indeed to a lesser extent to that of 1915, but for all the same reasons the victims are remembered and justice must continue to be pursued on their behalf.

— Heros Jojaghaian

Photo: Raffi Youredjian

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