This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.
1 Independence movements
occupy a very special place in the history of the European countries.
2 Many nations fought for independence, but events which
took place in the geographic area known as the socialist bloc are
unprecedented in their scope and brutality of response.
3 Azerbaijanis paused this weekend to pay tribute to their
fellow citizens who were killed in one of the most brutal acts in
the last moments of the Soviet Empire, an event known around the
world as “Black January”.
4 Black January occurred when Moscow ordered 26 000 Soviet
troops to invade Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. In the early morning
hours and into the day of 20 January 1990, Soviet troops attacked
innocent civilians, slaughtering 133 people and wounding approximately
700. The use of force by the Soviet regime was a response to Azerbaijan’s
popular demand for independence.
5 According to a report published by Human Rights Watch,
“among the most heinous violations of human rights … were the numerous
attacks on medical personnel, ambulances and even hospitals”.