WASHINGTON — Just a week after her participation in a historic Congressional delegation visit to Armenia led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair Jackie Speier (D-CA) has introduced legislation condemning Azerbaijan’s war crimes against Armenia and Artsakh, calling on the US to explore sanctions and petition international tribunals to carry out appropriate investigations, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Speier shared her intention to introduce the legislation during Washington, DC meetings last week with Artsakh Foreign Minister David Babayan and Deputy Minister of Culture, Education, Sports and Science Lernik Hovanessian, following the ANCA’s Federal Policy Seminar. In addition to pursuing sanctions for war crimes, the resolution calls for an investigation into Azerbaijan’s ongoing illegal imprisonment of Armenian POWs, condemns the destruction of Armenian churches and historic sites, and reaffirms the territorial integrity of Armenia and Artsakh. Rep. Speier is joined by Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), vice-chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and fellow Armenian American Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) in spearheading the measure.
“We welcome today’s introduction of Congresswoman Speier’s war-crimes resolution – alongside Congressman Schiff’s measure condemning Azerbaijan’s attacks,” said ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian. “Both are powerful, bipartisan expressions of Congressional support for the statutory measures required to enforce Section 907 and cut-off all US military aid to an oil-rich Azerbaijani government that is attacking Armenia and ethnically-cleansing Artsakh.”
“Congresswoman Speier is ending her service in the US Congress in the same spirit she entered this great house of democracy – as a courageous and caring voice for the Armenian people – in her House district, across America, living in our homeland and throughout the world,” said ANCA San Francisco Bay Area chair Matt Senekeremian, who resides in Rep. Speier’s district. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with her in seeking to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its war crimes.”
Rep. Speier’s measure follows the introduction earlier this month of H.Res.1351, spearheaded by Rep. Schiff and Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders, calling for an immediate end to US aid to Azerbaijan, and condemning President Aliyev’s unprovoked attack against Armenia and Artsakh. The measure currently has 44 cosponsors.
Speier singles out Azerbaijan for violating the Geneva Conventions, which establish international legal standards on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs), and soldiers who are otherwise rendered incapable of fighting, as well as mutilating and torturing civilians and soldiers.