Budapest Case - the history of the murder of Gurgen Margaryan
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Dissident tells ‘slaughter by Muslims’ in the maternity unit

(excerpts from the article)

by Christopher Walker, then Times’ correspondent in Moscow

Source: London Times, 12-March-1988


A Muslim mob broke into a maternity ward in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait during ethnic rioting, disembowelled pregnant Armenian women and killed babies, according to a chilling account of the recent violence provided by the first independent witness to return from the city, now under military curfew and closed to foreigners. Andrei Shilkov, an editor of the Soviet underground journal Glasnost, yesterday painted a horrific picture of atrocities he alleged had taken place in the city late last month.

While KGB agents monitored his flat, Mr Shilkov, aged 36, told newsmen inside that he had been informed by different residents, including Russians with no particular ethnic axe to grind, that Armenians had been flung into the streets by rampaging mobs of Azerbaijanis.

The worst single incident in the violence on February 28 and 29 is said to have occurred in a maternity hospital. Mr Shilkov quoted an account provided to him by an Azerbaijani nurse who had been working there but who had now left the city in disgust at the events which she witnessed.

"The killers broke into the maternity hospital and doctors were made at knifepoint to show them where the Armenian women were lying, " Mr Shilkov told the shocked correspondents. "They disembowelled them all in a bloodbath. The new babies were held by the legs and swung and smashed against the wall and then thrown out of the windows."


"I spoke with an Azerbaijani woman whose upstairs neighbours were Armenians, " she said. "She saw the mob throw the Armenian daughter, a young girl, out of the window. When they realized that she was not dead, they threw a heavy wardrobe down on top of her to kill her."


Back to the Sumgait massacres page

Interview with an Eyewitness to the Sumgait Uprising (excerpts from the article)
Across Frontiers, winter spring 1989, p 22-23