More than 140 people were killed in Baku when the Soviet military tried to suppress protests in Baku on 20 January 1990
The Azerbaijani opposition, led by the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party member Ali Karimli, attempted to hold a mourning procession today at the Alley of Martyrs in Baku.
The police, however, interfered and did not allow the marchers to proceed.
The march was to be held in honor of the 29th anniversary of the tragic events of 20 January 1990, when more than a hundred civilians in Baku were killed by the Soviet military entering Baku.
The victims of this bloody day are buried in the Alley of Martyrs.
Ali Kerimli’s call for a joint march was made the day before, on 19 January, at an opposition rally in support of political prisoners.
The police blocked the approaching crowd at the Alley of Martyrs, letting only small groups pass.
Karimli said that the police attempted to “divide” the opposition into parts, thus depriving it of scale, even though many marchers were able to make it onto the alley anyways.
After that, at about 4 pm, a huge crowd of citizens gathered in front of the police cordons and came to lay flowers on the graves. People were very unhappy that they were not allowed to pass, but then they began to patiently wait for their turn.
On the night of 19 January 1990, Soviet Army units were brought into Baku and in several other cities of Azerbaijan. People rallied on the streets at the time, demanding independence for Azerbaijan. As a result of the suppression of the protests, according to official data, 147 people were killed, 744 were injured and 841 people were arrested.