BOSTON — The Armenian Assembly of America recently issued a statement com- mending Massachusetts state Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-29th Middlesex) for introducing a resolution titled “Supporting Nagorno-Karabakh’s Right to Self- Determination and Efforts to Develop its Democracy,” which was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts last week.
Hecht, who was elected state representative in November 2008, was preceded in office by Armenian Assembly Board mem- ber Rachel Kaprielian. Hecht, a graduate of Harvard Law School, currently serves as vice chair of the Elder Affairs Committee and is also a member of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.
“We appreciate the leadership of Representative Hecht,” stated long-time Assembly Trustee James Kalustian, who worked closely with Hecht and other leaders of the House. “Adoption of this resolution is in keeping with American values of promoting democracy and respect for the fundamental rights of all peoples.”
The resolution reads in part: “Whereas, for decades, Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, having arbitrarily been severed from Armenia and forced under Soviet Azerbaijani administration, peacefully demonstrated for self-determination and individual freedom and against Soviet Azerbaijani repression and discrimination…were met with acts of violent repression by Soviet Azerbaijani forces, resulting in the killings of ethnic Armenians in Sumgait (February 1988), Kirovabad (November 1988), and Baku (January 1990) and the forcible deportation of over 350,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan.”
In addition, the resolution also recalled the adoption of Nagorno-Karabagh’s declaration of independence on January 6, 1992, by its freely elected parliament, and also congratulated Arstakh on its presidential election held last month “in which 74 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in a peaceful and competitive elec- tion that international observers found to be free and fair.”
Further, the resolution also respectfully urged “the president and Congress of the United States of America to support the self- determination and democratic independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and to encourage nations neighboring Nagorno-Karabakh to foster and maintain peaceful relations with it” and urged “our country’s leaders to continue promoting the humanitarian and economic rehabilitation of Nagorno-Karabakh.”