Guba mass grave

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Guba mass grave

The Guba mass grave is a mass grave site located in the town of Guba in northeastern Azerbaijan. It was discovered during the building of a stadium in April 2007. The background behind the deaths is currently unknown, but Azerbaijani sources claim that the grave dates back to 1918.

Investigation[edit]

Skeletons from a mass grave

Once the burial site was uncovered, the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences dispatched a forensic expedition to the location. The expedition released its first forensics report on April 13, 2007, stating that the preponderance of commingled skeletal remains suggests that the people were first executed and then thrown into wells, 2.5 to 5 meters deep.[1] Gahraman Agayev, the leader of the forensic expedition, followed up on this by reporting the discovery of two main wells and two canals with human bones. The investigation reported finding 137 skeletons,[2] of which 24 skulls were of children, 28 were of women, and the rest were of men. Besides ethnic Azerbaijanis, there were also Jews and Lezgis killed and buried during March Days in 1918. The names of 81 massacred Jewish civilians were found and confirmed.[3]

Reactions[edit]

In response to the mass grave discovery, Levon Yepiskoposyan, supervisor of Human Genetics at the Institute of Molecular Biology in the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and president of the Armenian Anthropological Society, and Hayk Kotanjian, President of the Association of Political Science at the Ministry Doctor of Political Sciences, sent letters urging the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Mahmud Kerimov, to form a joint committee to examine the remains found. As of 2013, those letters have not received a response from Azerbaijani officials.[4]

Hayk Demoyan, the director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, has stated that no foreign experts have examined the human remains and that no documentation or archival evidence has been presented that mentions a massacre of Muslims by Armenians having taken place in Guba.[5]

Legacy[edit]

On September 18, 2013, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan inaugurated the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex.[6]

In October 2013, a French Senate delegation headed by senator Nathalie Goulet visited the site[7] and a Kuwaiti government delegation has also visited the site.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°21′40″N 48°29′30″E / 41.36111°N 48.49167°E / 41.36111; 48.49167