L.A. County supervisors call for release of Armenian hostages

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News release 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion introduced Tuesday by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell that calls for the release of Armenians being held hostage by Azerbaijan. 

At least 36 Armenian prisoners are captive and remain in Azerbaijani custody. Additionally, Azerbaijan is holding eight former military and political leaders of Artsakh captive as political prisoners as of September 2023.  

“This is about accountability,” Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, said in a news release. “We need to hold Azerbaijan accountable for violations of humanitarian law. As leaders of a county that is home to the greatest number of Armenians outside of Armenia itself, we must do what is within our power and use our voice to condemn Azerbaijan’s violations of human rights and urge the return of all Armenian hostages and prisoners of war. We have a moral obligation to do so. I am proud to stand in solidarity with the Armenian community.”  

The motion notes that the only “crime” committed by the hostages was the peaceful exercise of their political rights; they are being held under false and fabricated charges, the release said.    

A letter will be sent with all five supervisors’ signatures to President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen urging the administration to take action at the federal level and suspend all U.S. military and economic assistance to Azerbaijan. 

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