Armenian Assembly Welcomes Human Rights Legislation Requiring Review of Azerbaijan and Turkey’s Human Rights Abuses

 

Washington, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America welcomes two human rights resolutions introduced in the United States Senate today and spearheaded by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

As highlighted by Senator Menendez, the resolutions “require Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to detail Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s human rights abuses throughout the South Caucasus, within their own countries, and, in Turkey’s case, in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.”  In addition, the “resolutions also require information on what role U.S. security assistance may be playing in these abuses to inform whether the United States should restrict or end security assistance and arms sales to those countries. Both resolutions invoke statutory authority under section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA).”

“In light of the September 27th assault on Artsakh and the Armenian people, we commend the introduction of these resolutions spearheaded by Senator Menendez, along with the support of his colleagues to shine a bright light on the human rights abuses being committed by two of the most authoritarian regimes in the world,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.

Among other provisions, in addition to requesting all available information concerning violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey, the resolutions require information pertaining to “whether United States-built F–16s have been used by the Government of Turkey in the South Caucasus since conflict in the region escalated on September 27, 2020, in a manner inimical to internationally recognized human rights,” as well as information on “the likelihood that United States security assistance, as defined in section 502B(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 17 2304(d)) and including training and equipment provided under section 333 of title 10, United States Code, has been and will be used in the South Caucasus by the Government of Azerbaijan in a manner inimical to internationally recognized human rights.”

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR# 2020-37

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