Washington, D.C. - A bicameral, bipartisan letter spearheaded by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Representatives Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ), addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, calls upon the Administration to impose Global Magnitsky sanctions against Azerbaijan, and has garnered the support of nearly 100 Members of Congress, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). "After over nine months of trying to starve out the ethnic Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani military launched a full-scale assault on the region on September 19, resulting in a ceasefire and the capitulation of the local government on September 20," stated the members. "This attack has exacerbated concerns about the worsening of the humanitarian crisis, and statements from the government of Azerbaijan about 're-integration' raise the specter of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide," stated the Members. The letter, which circulated during the Assembly's Advocacy Summit, traced Azerbaijan's human rights abuses, including its blocking of the Lachin Corridor - the only route connecting Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh, that deprived 120,000 Armenians of freedom of movement and access to food, medication, hygiene products, and other commercial goods - and urged the Departments of State and Treasury to "immediately exercise discretionary authority to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act on individuals in the government of Azerbaijan associated with the military attacks against and brutal blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh." The letter continued that "these actions represent a gross violation of human rights and the perpetration of violent conflict, which both pose a direct assault on American values and interests. The perpetrators of these human rights violations must be held to account by the United States." The letter concluded with a focus on America's stance as a "world leader on international human rights" and how it must continue to "serve as a mediating force and supporter of peace in the region" and hold Azerbajian accountable for its actions in blockading and assaulting Nagorno-Karabakh." "We welcome this bicameral, bipartisan letter urging sanctions against the genocidal Aliyev regime," said Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. "There must be consequences for Azerbaijan's brutality against the Armenian people." The letter was cosigned by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Representatives Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Donald Beyer (D-VA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cori Bush (D-MO), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Jim Costa (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Charles Fleischmann (R-TN), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Daniel Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Val Hoyle (D-OR), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Daniel Kildee (D-MI), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Grace Meng (D-NY), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Deborah Ross (D-NC), C. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Bradley Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Shri Thanedar (D-MI), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), David Valadao (R-CA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Susan Wild (D-PA) and Nikema Williams (D-GA).
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.