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Rep. Adam Schiff Advocates Sanctions Against Azerbaijan for Unlawful Detention of Armenian Prisoners

Rep. Adam Schiff Advocates Sanctions Against Azerbaijan for Unlawful Detention of Armenian Prisoners

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) has introduced a resolution, urging the Biden Administration to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan for the illegal detention of Armenian prisoners of war, captured civilians, and political prisoners, including officials from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). The resolution comes in response to Azerbaijan's actions during its recent ethnic cleansing operations.

The resolution, championed by Rep. Schiff, specifically calls for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act against Azerbaijani government officials held responsible for the reported illegal detention, torture, and extrajudicial killing of Armenian prisoners of war. Additionally, it reinforces Congressional calls for the enforcement of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. military and security assistance to Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan is already guilty of grave atrocities committed during the recent war, and the continued illegal detention of Armenians compounds the problem. Azerbaijan’s treatment of these prisoners, including torture and killings, is heartbreaking and a direct threat to international law and order," expressed Rep. Schiff. "My resolution urges the American government and international community to stand up to these gross human rights violations being perpetuated against the Armenian community by the Aliyev regime and return these prisoners back to their families."

The resolution strongly condemns Azerbaijan's unlawful detention of Artsakh civilian and military officials, who are being held as political prisoners. This includes former Artsakh presidents Arkadi Ghukasyan, Bako Sahakyan, and Arayik Harutyunyan, former Artsakh Foreign Minister David Babayan, Speaker of Artsakh’s Parliament Davit Ishkhanyan, former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan, and former Artsakh military commanders Levon Mnatsakanyan and David Manukyan.

Rep. Schiff's resolution builds upon similar legislation he and the Congressional Armenian Caucus led in 2021 (H.Res.240), which received broad bipartisan support. The current resolution's call for U.S. sanctions on Azerbaijani leaders and the enforcement of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan aligns with bipartisan legislation (H.Res.108 / H.R.5683) and multiple Congressional letters to the Biden Administration, enjoying support from over 100 Congressional leaders. The resolution underscores the ongoing bipartisan efforts to address human rights violations and uphold justice in the wake of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


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