96 US Senate and House lawmakers call on Biden Administration to sanction Azerbaijani leaders for Artsakh blockade and attacks

A bipartisan group of ninety-six U.S. Senate and House members have called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to apply their discretionary authority under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to sanction Azerbaijani leaders responsible for the brutal blockade and attacks on Nagorno Karabakh’s (Artsakh) 120,000 indigenous Armenian Christian population, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“President Biden needs to stop rewarding genocide and start holding its perpetrators accountable. That begins with cutting off military aid to Azerbaijan and enforcing sanctions against its leaders for ethnically cleansing 120,000 indigenous Armenians from their ancient Artsakh homeland,” stated Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

POLITICO’s National Security Daily was the first to report on the powerful letter led by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representatives Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ).  

The 96 lawmakers stress, “in order to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions in blockading and assaulting Nagorno-Karabakh, we respectfully request that your departments exercise existing authorities under the Global Magnitsky Act to impose targeted sanctions on the individuals in the Aliyev government that are responsible for or participated in the violation of human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh.”  

The Senate and House members stated, “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.”

Joining Senators Whitehouse and Cassidy and Representatives Magaziner, Bilirakis, and Pallone in cosigning the letter to Secretaries Blinken and Yellen are:

Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Representatives Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cori Bush (D-MO), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Joaquín 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), Jesus Garcia (D-IL), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Val Hoyle (D-OR), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Dan 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.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Christopher 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).

The full text of the bi-cameral congressional letter is available here:

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