WASHINGTON, DC – In response to Azerbaijan’s genocidal blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is joining a diverse group of non-government organizations to launch the Save Karabakh Coalition.
The announcement will be made at a press conference to be held on January 27th at 10 a.m. at the US House Press Triangle on Capitol Hill and will feature remarks by several members of the US Congress, led by Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), as well as Coalition representatives.
The Coalition was formed at the initiative of the Anglican Office of International and Government Affairs, Christian Solidarity International, the Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury and founder of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), the Vulnerable Peoples Project and the ANCA.
Following the press conference, the Save Karabakh Coalition will hold a demonstration at the Embassy of Azerbaijan to demand the blockade be lifted.
For over 40 days – since December 12 – the government of Azerbaijan has been blocking the Lachin Corridor—the only road linking Nagorno Karabakh and its 120,000 Armenian Christian residents to the Republic of Armenia and to the outside world. Under the blockade, supplies of food and medicine are dwindling, and local authorities have been forced to begin strict rationing of meager supplies. Azerbaijan has also cut natural gas, electricity and telecommunications to the region, leaving large parts of the population in the cold and dark in freezing winter temperatures. USAID director Samantha Power has warned of a “significant humanitarian crisis” if the blockade is not lifted.
Members of the Save Karabakh Coalition pledge their solidarity with the besieged people of Nagorno Karabakh and commit to working together to mobilize media attention and political support for their cause.
The Coalition is directed by a central committee composed of the Anglican Office of International and Government Affairs, Christian Solidarity International, the Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, the Vulnerable Peoples Project and the Armenian National Committee of America.
The Coalition is calling on the US government to take all necessary measures to safeguard the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, to apply economic pressure on Azerbaijan — including the suspension of military and economic aid — to pressure it to lift the blockade, and to work within the framework of the UN Security Council to provide for adequate peacekeeping in the region to protect the people of Nagorno Karabakh.
The Save Karabakh Coalition is made up of the following organizations and activists:
— Christian Solidarity International
— The Baroness Cox, Independent Member of the House of Lords
— American Friends of Kurdistan
— Anglican Office for Government and International Affairs
— Armenian Bar Association
— Armenian National Committee of America
— Genocide Watch
— Hellenic American Leadership Council
— Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust
— In Defense of Christians
— International Christian Concern
— The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention
— The Philos Project
— The Vulnerable People Project
— Lela Gilbert, Fellow, Hudson Center for International Religious Freedom
— Dr. Charles Jacobs, President, American Anti-Slavery Group
— Professor Elisa Von Joeden-Forgey, Endowed Chair, Dept. of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College; Co-president, Lemkin Institute
— Professor Irene Victoria Massimino, co-president, Lemkin Institute
— Sheila Paylan, International Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
— David L. Phillips, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University
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