"Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act" Introduced in U.S. Congress

"Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act" Introduced in U.S. Congress

A bipartisan group of U.S..lawmakers on Friday introduced a bill that would enable sanctions against senior Azerbaijani officials for their role in the Karabakh war, and human rights violations, including violent repression of political opposition, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

Two U.S. representatives — Dina Titus (D-NV) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) — introduced the first ever "Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act" to the U.S. Congress. The bill is co-sponsored by 21 other Congress members, such as Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and others.

As TURAN reported earlier, the bill would require the Biden administration to determine within 180 days of its passage whether a list of Azeri officials included in the bill qualify for sanctions under existing U.S. legislations including the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, as well as the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The final version of the bill calls on the administration to review 44 Azerbaijani government officials — three additional to the initial list posted by TURAN early this week — and determine whether they took part in human rights abuses against journalists, opposition activists and academics.

The complete list of all 44 officials to be published in the coming days.

The final version of the bill particularly highlights Karabakh war, noting that despite its international legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions and repeated calls by the U.S. Government, Azerbaijan "has not released all relevant persons and instead continues to detain new prisoners of war, hostages, and captured civilians, nor have those responsible for serious human rights violations and war crimes faced legal consequences."

The authors also note that Azerbaijan’s "brutal repression of domestic political opposition is of grave concern for the human rights of Azerbaijanis."

U.S. Congress To Introduce First-Ever Sanctions Bill Targeting Azerbaijani Officials Over Right Violations

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