On February 20, the Armenian National Congress (ANC) organized a rally at Yerevan’s Freedom square in honour of the National Liberation Movement of Nagorno-Karabakh. The opposition party members delivered speeches dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Movement. Photos tracing the history of the Movement were also exhibited.
What happened 30 years ago, in 1988?
On February 12, 1988, demonstrations of the Karabakh Liberation Movement began.
The first protests took place in the Karabakh province of Hadrut.. The demonstrators demanded the reunification of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) with Armenia.
On February 20, the NKAO Supreme Council issued a request to transfer the region from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. Karabakh Armenians’ grievances against Azerbaijan included decades of economic and social discrimination.
The request by Karabakh Armenians to peacefully transfer the territory from Azerbaijan to Armenia was met with a wave of violence by Azerbaijan against Armenians who were still under their control.
In addition to an economic blockade, massacres were carried out against Armenians in Azerbaijani towns of Sumgayit, Baku, Kirovabad and Shamkhor.
Roughly 450,000 Armenians fled from Azerbaijani cities and villages.
Back to 2018
The open air exhibition includes photographs from the entirety of the Karabakh Liberation Movement.
During the event at the Freedom Square, Armenian National Congress co-president Aram Manukyan opened the gathering by stating that the rally was not political but was taking place to celebrate a symbolic anniversary for Armenians.
Babgen Ararktsyan, who presided over the Parliament from 1991-1998, stated that the movement achieved three results: the independence of Armenia, proclaiming the founding of the Third Republic and removing Karabakh from Azerbaijani rule, resulting in its de facto independence.
The Armenian National Congress was formed in 2008 and is led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan. It is a direct successor of the Armenian National Movement, which was the first ruling party of Armenia after the independence from Soviet Union.
Photo by Zaven Khachikyan