On July 12th, Azerbaijani forces began shelling Tavush, a province on the northeastern border of Armenia. This attack was unwarranted and reprehensible, but not unsurprising, and violated the ceasefire protocols signed in 1994. Since the beginning of this conflict, Azerbaijan has continued to perpetrate violence against Armenians, most recently targeting civilian villages, PPE factories, and kindergartens. Azerbaijan has no excuse for the war crimes it has committed, particularly at a time when the world should be coming together against COVID-19. As Armenians call for peace, Azeri protestors on the streets of Baku call for war and “death to Armenians.” These are not idle words – on July 16th, the Azerbaijani government threatened to target the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, located just half an hour from Yerevan, signaling intent to perpetrate a nuclear genocide.
We, as Armenian Student Associations across the United States, have formed a unified coalition known as ASA United to condemn the violent actions of the Azerbaijani government against Armenia. These unprovoked attacks violate Armenian sovereignty, are unambiguously illegal under international law, and are all the more irresponsible in the setting of the current pandemic. Azerbaijan must cease its aggression against Armenia in order to avert war, restore peace, and preserve the health and lives of innocent civilians.
We unequivocally support the armed forces of Armenia and are grateful to them for risking their lives to defend the peaceful population and sovereignty of our nation.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with all those across the diaspora who are dancing, singing and protesting peacefully to celebrate life, in stark contrast to the Azeri protestors chanting for death.
ASA United is a community of Armenian American students, established just days ago with aims of raising money for vital Armenian causes, advocating for justice, and providing educational resources. Our first initiative has been campaigning for the The Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (AWHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives, improving living conditions, and increasing COVID-19 sanitation capabilities on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan military border. Since 2016, this fund has been working to provide first aid kits to every soldier on the front lines, aid in the treatment of severe injuries, and upgrade infrastructure such as running water and hygienic living conditions. We implore you to join our Facebook fundraising campaign to raise money in support of the positive actions taken by the AWHF.
Furthermore, widespread, national condemnation of Azerbaijan’s belligerence is of utmost importance to prevent further emboldened aggression and escalation. If you live in the United States, we urge you to contact your representatives, through emails or phone calls:
- Alert Congress: Azerbaijan Using COVID-19 as Cover for Cross-Border Attacks on Armenia and Artsakh (Armenian National Committee of America)
- Ask Your Senators and Representative to #SaveArtsakhAid (Armenian National Committee of America)
- Urge Congress to Speak Out Against Azerbaijani Attacks Against Armenia (Armenian Assembly of America)
- Send a letter to your Representative to Oppose Amendment Prohibiting Assistance to Nagorno Karabakh (Armenian Assembly of America).
Finally, we ask that you remain informed, engaged and aware. Every voice counts, and yours can be the difference between war and peace. #ArmeniaStrong
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Armenian Society of Brown University
Armenian Society of Columbia University
Armenian Society at Providence College
Boston College ASA
Boston University ASA
Cal Poly Pomona ASA
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ASA
Chapman University ASA
Colgate University ASA
Loyola Marymount University ASA
MCPHS University ASA
Michigan State University ASA
MIT Armenian Society
Northeastern University ASA
Occidental College ASA
Princeton Armenian Society
St. John’s University
UC Berkeley ASA
UC Davis ASA
University of Maryland ASA
University of Massachusetts Amherst ASA
University of Michigan ASCA
University of Southern California ASA
University of Texas at Austin ASA
Yale Armenian Network