All across the world, Azerbaijanis and friends of Azerbaijan commemorated the 25th anniversary of the violent crackdown on demonstrators in Baku in 1990 referred to as the Jan. 20 tragedy, also known as Black January.
The victims of Black January were remembered with a minute of silence
In Houston, TX, the Azerbaijan Center and its community members gathered to commemorate this important date in the history of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijan Center was also grateful to receive the support of the Turkish community and especially of the Turkish Consul in Houston, Mr. Ferhat Alkan.
Black January (Azerbaijani: Qara Yanvar), also known as Black Saturday or the January Massacre, was a violent crackdown in Baku on January 19–20, 1990, pursuant to a state of emergency during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
President Gorbachev and Defence Minister Yazov asserted that military law was necessary to stop the violence against the Armenian population and to thwart efforts by the Azerbaijani independence movement to overthrow the Soviet Azerbaijani government. According to official estimates between 133 and 137 civilians died, 800 people were injured and 5 persons went missing. However unofficial number put the number of victims at 300 dead. Later on, in 1995 Gorbachev apologised to Azerbaijan by stating: “The declaration of a state emergency in Baku was the biggest mistake of my political career.
In a resolution of January 22, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR declared that the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of January 19, used to impose emergency rule in Baku and military deployment, constituted an act of aggression. Black January is seen as the rebirth of the Azerbaijan Republic.*