L.A. County Board of Supervisors Call for Release of Armenian Hostages Held Captive by Azerbaijan
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell that throws the weight of Los Angeles County behind calls for the release of Armenians being held hostage by Azerbaijan.
At least 36 Armenian prisoners are captive and remain in Azerbaijani custody. Additionally, Azerbaijan is holding eight former military and political leaders of Artsakh captive as political prisoners as of September 2023.
“This is about accountability,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “We need to hold Azerbaijan accountable for violations of humanitarian law. As leaders of a County that is home to the greatest number of Armenians outside of Armenia itself, we must do what is within our power and use our voice to condemn Azerbaijan’s violations of human rights and urge the return of all Armenian hostages and prisoners of war. We have a moral obligation to do so. I am proud to stand in solidarity with the Armenian community.”
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved several motions authored by Supervisor Barger related to the ongoing humanitarian violations and acts of violence committed by the Azerbaijani government against the ethnic Armenian people of Artsakh.
“The conflict between Azerbaijan and the people of Armenia impacts our Armenian community in Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “ We must make it clear that these crimes against humanity will not be tolerated by our government. We support the Biden administration in urging the Azerbaijan government to immediately return all Armenian prisoners of war and work toward a solution for lasting peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”
The motion notes that the only “crime” committed by these individuals was the peaceful exercise of their political rights; they are being held under false and fabricated charges.
According to a recent report by the Center for Truth & Justice, Armenian civilians have been the target of illegal arrests by Azerbaijani officials, with no basis or evidence.
A letter will be sent with all five Supervisors’ signatures to United States President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen urging the Administration to take action at the federal level and suspend all U.S. military and economic assistance to Azerbaijan.