The Nagorno-Karabakh Region of Azerbaijan

Floor Speech

By:  Judy Chu
Date: March 5, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. CHU. This year marks the 25th anniversary of a critical turning point in the political freedom of the Armenian people of Azerbaijan. Let us take this occasion to remember their struggle for self-determination and freedom.

In 1988, the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan petitioned to become part of Armenia. For the next 2 years, the Armenian population was the target of racially motivated pogroms. Hundreds of Armenians were murdered and more wounded during three violent attacks in Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku.

In 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh officially declared independence, becoming a democratic state committed to freedom and respect for human rights. But today, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are still forced to live under authoritarian rule. As we commemorate their century-long struggle, let us not forget their quest for autonomy and justice.