LOS ANGELES COUNTY—Supervisor Kathryn Barger introduced a motion to be heard by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 23 asking the Board to support H.Res. 240, a Congressional resolution calling on Azerbaijan to release approximately 200 prisoners of war and civilians who are currently detained as a result of the 2020 war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also known as Artsakh.
“I commend the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and Congressman Adam Schiff for introducing this resolution to immediately redress the tragic circumstances prisoners of war and innocent civilians are enduring,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.
“When this conflict began, we stood with our Armenian brothers and sisters to ask Azerbaijan to immediately end its dangerous military aggression in Artsakh. The Armenian community deserves peace and we must join in any efforts supporting their resilience and strength.”
In part, the House Resolution calls out the Government of Azerbaijan, which has detained an estimated 200 Armenian prisoners of war, hostages, and civilians and continues to misrepresent their status to keep these individuals imprisoned. The Resolution further notes that “Human Rights Watch reported in December 2020 that Azerbaijani military forces had mistreated ethnic Armenian prisoners of war and subjected them to physical abuse and humiliation.”
The Congressional resolution was authored by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, including California representatives Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), David G. Valadao (R-California), and Jackie Speier (D-California). The House Resolution asks Azerbaijan to immediately release all Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians and asks the Secretary of State to engage with Azerbaijani officials to enforce the importance of adhering to the obligations and commitments of international law.
Los Angeles County is home to the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia. Supervisor Barger and her colleagues in Los Angeles County continue to support the Armenian community through advocacy and increased awareness of their history.