The California Democratic Party on Sunday adopted, as part of its top 13 priorities coming out of its 2021 state convention, a resolution condemning Turkey and Azerbaijan for the war crimes they committed over the course of 44 days and after their attack on the Republic of Artsakh and Armenia, beginning on September 27, 2020.
The resolution, introduced by LACDP Elected Member and DSCC Member Elen Asatryan, also urges Congress and the Biden Administration to sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan and demand that Azerbaijani authorities immediately release all Armenian Prisoners of War and captured civilians. Furthermore, it also calls on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System to divest all public employee retirement funds from investment vehicles issued by Turkey and Azerbaijan until Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide, and until the people of Artsakh are afforded the opportunity of self-determination on their indigenous lands. The measure passed during Sunday’s general floor session as part of a docket that drew overwhelming approval from delegates, with only nominal opposition on other resolutions, but none on record regarding resolution 21-04.143.
“With the passage of this resolution as part of its priorities, the California Democratic Party sent a clear message to Ankara, Baku, Washington, CALSTRS and CALPERS that its way past time to take immediate steps to ensure the safe return of Armenian POW’s and civilian hostages currently being held captive by Azerbaijan, and to not only sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan, but to divest from any and all public investments in Turkey and Azerbaijan. To aid, trade, and invest is to be complicit in Turkey’s ongoing Genocide denial campaign and the war crimes Turkey and Azerbaijan continue to commit to this day. This is a humanitarian crisis that demands bold leadership and our immediate attention, and it is our moral responsibility to take a firm stand against human rights violations, to show solidarity in this moment of pain, and to amplify the voices of oppressed and displaced indigenous communities against the oppressive forces,” emphasized Elen Asatryan.
“Thank you to the over 125 sponsors, delegates community organizations and members who helped rally support for this important resolution including Congressman Adam Schiff, Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian, DSCC Members Hans Johnson, Dr. Suzie Abajian, Kev Abazajian, Malcolm Johnson, The Armenian National Committee of America-WR, The Armenian Assembly of America, Southern California Armenian Democrats, the Glendale Teachers Association as well as the resolutions committee members and the over 900 delegates who ultimately voted to adopt it,” she added.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable that many months after the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, hundreds of Armenian service members and civilians remain in Azerbaijani custody. Little is known of their condition, treatment or well-being,” said Congressman Adam Schiff who was listed as the first sponsor of the original resolution. “The United States must use every diplomatic lever to secure the immediate release of these detained POWs and civilians and impose consequences on Azerbaijan for their continued violations of human rights. I was proud to support Elen Asatryan’s work on this resolution calling on the Biden Administration and Congress to condemn Turkey and Azerbaijan and demand that Azerbaijani authorities immediately release all Armenian POWS and captured civilians,” he added.