Hate Crimes on Armenians have Skyrocketed
Hate crimes on Armenians have skyrocketed in 2020. It is important to document every single atrocity done to Armenians due to Armenophobia.
Armenophobia translates to anti-Armenian sentiment which is widespread in Azerbaijan. Mainly due to the conflict over Artsakh and the misinformation of history taught to kids growing up in Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijani textbooks, Armenians are described as “bloodsuckers” and they “show no mercy, they kill everyone, even children, pregnant women, elderly people and after killing they even mutilate the corpses.” To elaborate even more, a document analysis revealed that Azerbaijani history textbooks are assessed by the government, according to government-established criteria. The government controls the whole process of textbook adoption. The document analysis also showed that instilling negative attitudes towards the “enemy” in Azerbaijan is done through teaching patriotism in a way that the aggressor, Armenians, should be kept in focus. In addition, children should know everything in detail about the war, about the genocide committed by Armenians.
With that being said, Azerbaijani people are taught to hate Armenians, and with the latest Artsakh war, the hatred was evident in mass amounts of hate crimes towards Armenians. For example, thousands of Azerbaijanis in July, 2020 were shouting “death to Armenians” in Baku. In addition, they chanted “order us to go to war.” Ironically, Azerbaijan has often claimed themselves as being the leaders of human rights. However, in 2018 Azerbaijan ranked within the 10th percentile of countries across the world which left them far below the median.
Thousands rally in Baku chanting "Death to Armenians" and demanding war with Armenia
Let’s move on to the Turkish Grey Wolves. An ultra-nationalist group from Turkey that has committed numerous violent actions on minorities. The Grey Wolves spread extremely violent threats like in October, 2020 when their organization was calling on the “hunt for Armenians” in Lyon, France. During this night, there were over 250 Turks yelling threats such as “we are going to kill the Armenians!” Later in November, the French government banned the Grey Wolves organization after this incident.
The Turkish ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves group showing a neo-Nazi hand sign
In the United States, there were a few incidents of hate crimes towards Armenians from July to September, when Azerbaijan attacked the Tavush region in Armenia proper. Let’s start with the vandalization of the KZV Armenian school in San Francisco, California. There was hateful and racist graffiti left covering the walls of the Armenian school. The people who vandalized the school left their signature with the Azerbaijani flag. In September, 10 days before the start of the Artsakh war, the St. Gregory Apostolic church for Armenians was burnt down in San Francisco as well. This was a direct attack on Armenia’s Christianity.
On September 19, 2020, there was a gunshot directed toward the Armenian KZV school in San Francisco which caused damage to the school’s windows. During the anti-Armenian Baku & Sumgait pogroms in the 80’s and 90’s, Azerbaijani’s drew red crosses with blood which meant that Armenians living in that particular apartment will be mercilessly killed soon. To elaborate, this was done to Armenian’s living in San Francisco this year when Azerbaijan attacked Armenia in the Tavush region. That marks four Armenophobic attacks in one city, in less than 2 months.
KZV Armenian school and community center in San Francisco Vandalized
Another hate crime on Armenian’s occurred on July 24th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when a woman and her child were attacked in their vehicle. Additional information includes that when the mother was at the intersection of a red light, one man vandalized her car by taking off the Armenian symbols on her license plate. Another man was banging on her door, using derogatory slurs and threatening phrases. In addition, the same man told the other man that was vandalizing to remember her car. She was able to drive off safely with no physical harm done to her or the child.
According to Garo Paylan, a Turkish politician of Armenian background, hate crimes against Armenians in Turkey have sharply risen. Baku supporters drove through Istanbul with Azerbaijani flags to intimidate the Armenians living in Turkey on September 28th. Garo Paylan also said: “Any hate speech towards the Armenian people makes our own citizens an imminent target. The government is using this conflict for domestic consumption. Armenian-origin citizens have become scapegoats, and the object of rising racism and hate speech.” According to Emine, a Turkish activist in Istanbul: “Hatred towards the Armenians has plagued the streets [after September 27]. There were convoys of cars in Kumkapi, where the Armenian patriarchate is located and where many migrants from Armenia live. The cars were constantly honking, accompanied by pro-Azerbaijan and anti-Armenian slogans. Last night [on October 5] it was reported that the same thing happened in the Osmanbey neighborhood. Convoys carrying Azerbaijani flags circled where the Hrant Dink Memorial site and the former Agos offices are located."
In July, there were a few incidents that occurred in Germany against Armenian vehicles and businesses. The first one being an attack on an Armenian embassy official vehicle was set on fire. A few days after this incident, a hookah lounge and taxi agency were attacked by Azerbaijanis in Cologne, Germany. Thirty men wore black masks and destroyed the area. These men threw tables and chairs through both establishments’ windows. All of the evidence pointed out that Azerbaijanis were behind this attack.
Evidence from the Armenian diaspora shows that Turks and Azerbaijanis have been sending them dead Armenian bodies through direct messaging on social media, in order to torment them. In addition, Azerbaijani accounts have been created on social media platforms where they also show Armenians brutally killed and mutilated. The Armenian Diaspora has also been receiving death and rape threats everyday in which Instagram has failed to remove these accounts.
In Moscow, Azerbaijanis vandalized Armenian cars on July 24th, 2020, where 25 individuals were arrested. For instance, a group of Azerbaijanis brutally beat an Armenian driver and vandalized his car. In addition, these groups also beat up an elderly Armenian man. According to multiple Russian news outlets, Azerbaijanis also violently attacked Armenian owned businesses.
We know there is unfortunately more, so this is a part one.