Pass the Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act

Armenians in Azerbaijan Need Our Help

Last year, Azerbaijan invaded Artsakh (Nagnorno-Karbakh), an Armenian enclave. Armenians had lived in the region since 7 BC. After suffering through a nine-month blockade (even humanitarian aid was kept out) that caused widespread and severe hunger and suffering, most of the 120,000 Amemnians fled the region and Artsakh was dissolved as of January 1, 2024.

This ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Azerbaijan cannot stand. The United States Congress must pass the Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024. The bipartisan bill was crafted and introduced by Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

The bill would make the Biden Administration review Azerbaijan's actions to determine if Magnitsky sanctions are appropriate. Magnitsky Sanctions target entities that commit serious human rights abuses. Azerbaijani officials have committed crimes, including the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, the arbitrary detention of Armenian POWs and civilian captives, the torture and abuse of detainees, and extrajudicial killings.

“Given the political and humanitarian crisis that has resulted from Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Artsakh and the continued oppression of political dissidents, careful consideration of whether or not Magnitsky sanctions are applicable are certainly warranted,” said Congressman Bilirakis, Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus. “We have an obligation to speak up against political oppression around the globe and to give voice to those who are being oppressed."

“After its illegal, year-long blockade of the Lachin Corridor, Azerbaijan weaponized food and starved many of Artsakh’s 120,000 Armenians. The Aliyev government rejected calls from the international community to withdraw and ease tensions, but instead launched an assault on the Armenian community in Artsakh. We cannot mince words when talking about what ensued: ethnic cleansing with genocidal intent," said Congresswoman Titus. "People with long-standing claims to the land were systematically pushed out by an aggressor; children were denied food and water and are no longer able to go to school; and Christian landmarks were desecrated. It’s time to impose costs on President Aliyev and his supporters for their actions instead of rewarding them with arms deals. My bill is an important first step.”

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