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Armenian Legal Center files Global Magnitsky Act sanctions cases against Azerbaijani officials

WASHINGTON—The Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights (ALC) has filed seven Global Magnitsky Act sanctions cases with the United States Department of State and Treasury against more than 40 senior Azerbaijani officials. Filed jointly with the International and Comparative Law Center based in Yerevan, Armenia, with several co-submitted with the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention, these Magnitsky Sanctions cases are in direct response to war crimes and human rights abuses committed during the recent Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh war, which culminated in the ethnic cleansing and forced deportation of indigenous Armenians.

“The Armenian Legal Center is committed to pursuing justice for the victims of war crimes and human rights violations,” said ALC chairperson Ken Hachikian. “By initiating Global Magnitsky Act sanctions cases against Azerbaijani officials, we aim to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and ensure that justice is served.”

With these submissions, the ALC is calling on the U.S. government to take decisive action against those responsible for perpetrating serious human rights violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ALC stressed that atrocities committed against the people of Artsakh, Armenia and the entire Armenian nation demand a swift and firm response in the pursuit of justice and accountability for the victims and to help prevent future atrocities.

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, spearheaded by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), introduced the “Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act.” This groundbreaking legislation addresses the atrocities perpetrated by Azerbaijani officials, particularly concerning the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh.

The proposed bill mandates the Biden administration conduct a comprehensive review within 180 days of enactment to determine whether Azerbaijani officials listed in the bill meet the criteria for sanctions under existing U.S. legislation, including the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The list of over 40 Azerbaijani officials named in the bill was compiled by the Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights in collaboration with its partners at the International Comparative Law Center in Yerevan, which verified that the named individuals are complicit in perpetrating serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, passed by the United States Congress in 2016, authorizes the U.S. government to impose visa bans and asset freezes on foreign government officials and individuals responsible for significant acts of corruption or human rights abuses.

Based in Washington DC, ALC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with the mission to pursue justice for human rights violations emanating from the Armenian Genocide, including the regional security of the Armenia and Artsakh Republics.  


(c) 2024, Armenian Weekly


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