CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Volunteers descended on Harvard Square on Sunday, May 23, as they answered the call by co-organizers Global Network to Free Armenian POWs and the Zoravik [“in solidarity”] Armenian Activist Collective, to take part in a late afternoon silent protest against Azerbaijan for continuing to hold prisoners of war and other captives. The Armenian Assembly of America (Massachusetts), Armenian General Benevolent Union Young Professionals of Boston, and Armenian Renaissance – Boston joined as co-hosts. The event was part of a global silent protest held in 25 cities demanding the release of more than 250 Armenian POWs both civilian and soldiers, held by Azerbaijan.
Demonstrators held signs and handed out informational flyers to Harvard University students and professors as well as the general public. According to Zoravik, by not returning the POWs, Azerbaijan is violating international law. The organizations Human Rights Watch, Vice News, and others have reported inhumane treatment and torture of Armenian POWs, of whom19 have been killed during incarceration by Azerbaijan.
Dr. Lisa Gulesserian, Lecturer on Armenian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, spoke briefly at the end of the otherwise silent protest.
Zoravik urges citizens to call their elected officials and tell them to support the enforcement of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act to stop US military aid to Azerbaijan. People should also email elected officials and visit https://freepows.carrd.co/, www.marchtojustice.org or https://www.armenian-assembly.org/advocacy and stay informed.
Zoravik, a non-governmental organization, promotes new avenues for grassroots and political organizing for progressives and friends.