Log in
A+ A A-
latest youtube videos subscribe ORIGINAL
22ndannualcapital

Menendez, colleagues introduce legislation to require reviews of Azerbaijan’s αnd Turkey’s human rights abuses

Featured Menendez, colleagues introduce legislation to require reviews of Azerbaijan’s αnd Turkey’s human rights abuses

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Penn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) today introduced two resolutions to require Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to detail Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s human rights abuses throughout the south Caucasus, within their own countries, and, in Turkey’s case, in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. The resolutions also require information on what role U.S. security assistance may be playing in these abuses to inform whether the United States should restrict or end security assistance and arms sales to those countries. Both resolutions invoke statutory authority under section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA).

The Senators are introducing these resolutions in light of the ongoing violence in the south Caucasus. With full support from Turkey, Azerbaijan has attacked population centers, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians and driving more than half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population from their homes. Turkey’s aggression in Syria, Libya, and northern Iraq has also produced numerous credible reports of human rights violations. Within their own borders, the governments of both Azerbaijan and Turkey have long histories of denying their own people the human rights and fundamental freedoms they deserve.

“Azerbaijan’s ongoing aggression against the Armenian people – with Turkey’s full backing – has already exacted a painful toll on civilians in the region and resulted in appalling human rights abuses. The United States cannot continue providing security assistance and arms to Azerbaijan and Turkey as they move the region further and further away from peace,” said Ranking Member Menendez. “Turkey’s pattern of violence extends beyond the South Caucasus to Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and both President Aliyev and President Erdogan have inflicted appalling abuses on their own people. This resolution pushes back against Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s human rights abuses and paves the way to stop arming two governments that so often use their security forces to harm innocent people.”

The Azerbaijan resolution requests:

  • All available information concerning alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Government of Azerbaijan within Azerbaijan;
  • A description of the steps the U.S. has taken to promote observance of human rights in Azerbaijan;
  • The Secretary’s opinion of whether extraordinary circumstances require a continuation of U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan and all the facts suggesting such assistance is in the national interest of the U.S.;
  • All available credible information concerning alleged violations of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Government of Azerbaijan throughout the South Caucasus;
  • Information on the likelihood that U.S. security assistance has been or will be used in the South Caucasus by the Government of Azerbaijan;
  • A description of the steps the U.S. has taken to discourage practices inimical to human rights by the Government of Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus, and to disassociate the U.S. and U.S. security assistance from them.

The Turkey resolution requests:

  • All available information concerning alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Government of Turkey within Turkey;
  • A description of the steps the U.S. has taken to promote observance of human rights in Turkey;
  • The Secretary’s opinion of whether extraordinary circumstances require a continuation of U.S. security assistance to Turkey and all the facts suggesting such assistance is in the national interest of the U.S.;
  • All available information concerning alleged violations of internationally recognized human rights by the Government of Turkey, its armed forces, and associated groups and persons in the south Caucasus, Syria, Libya, and Iraq;
  • Information on whether U.S. security assistance has been or is likely to be used in the South Caucasus, Syria, Libya, or Iraq by the Government of Turkey;
  • Information on whether U.S.-built F-16s have been used by the Government of Turkey in the South Caucasus;
  • A description of steps the U.S. has taken to discourage practices inimical to human rights by the Government of Turkey in the south Caucasus, Syria, Libya, and Iraq, and to disassociate the U.S. and U.S. security assistance from them. 

A copy of Azerbaijan resolution can be found HERE, and a copy of the Turkey resolution can be found HERE.