08/31/12 - Statement on the release and pardon of Ramil Safarov - I am deeply dismayed by the Hungarian government?s decision to release an Azeri military officer who was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering an Armenian officer in cold blood in Budapest in 2004. The convicted criminal was wrongfully and unjustly pardoned and set free by Azerbaijan?s President immediately after arriving in Azerbaijan. I stand by our friend and ally Armenia in her ongoing quest for peace and security for her citizens. I call on the Azeri government to bring this individual to justice instead of freeing a convicted criminal. Baku?s actions demonstrate a stubborn refusal to avoid threats against its neighbor.
04/25/12 - Armenian President will be Awarding Mkhitar Gosh Medal to Eshoo, Kirk, and Sherman
03/20/12 - Sherman asked US AID Administrator Shah to support more aid to Armenia and Javakh and work with Armenian Americans to develop private/public partnerships. Shah agreed. Sherman also asked Clinton about Javakhk when she testified in February 2012.
02/29/12 - Statement submitted for the Congressional Record on Sumgait - Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 24th anniversary of a dark chapter in modern history. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War of 1988 to 1994, Armenian civilians were indiscriminately attacked.
On the evening of February 27, 1988, Armenian civilians living in Sumgait, in Soviet Azerbaijan, were violently targeted in a three-day rampage. Armenian civilians were hunted down and brutally assaulted. Some were raped, and some were burned alive at the hands of rioters. Local police reportedly ignored repeated calls for help by Armenian civilians. The official figure from Soviet authorities, who prohibited journalists from entering the area, was just over 30 people dead and over 200 injured. However, it is believed that more--perhaps hundreds--were murdered by roving mobs.
The Sumgait Pogrom was, sadly, only the beginning.
Despite international condemnation of the pogrom in Sumgait, another anti-Armenian pogrom occurred later that year in Kirovabad, Azerbaijan, from November 21st to 27th Due to the brutality, the Armenians of Kirovabad and the surrounding areas were forced to flee their homes.
Another crime against humanity occurred yet again from January 13th to the 19th, in 1990. Members of the Armenian community of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, were assaulted, tortured and killed again by violent mobs.
I would like to commemorate the Armenian victims of the Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku massacres to honor the memory of the murdered, and to stop future bloodshed. If we hope to stop future massacres, we must acknowledge these horrific events and ensure they do not happen again.
We will not forget the ethnic-cleansing of the Armenians from Azerbaijan.
But we need to do more--we need to demonstrate to Azerbaijan that the United States is committed to peace and to the protection of Artsakh from coercion.
We must urge Azerbaijan to cease all threats and acts of coercion against the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
In 1992, Congress prohibited aid to Azerbaijan because of its continuing blockade against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Unfortunately, Congress in 2001 approved a waiver to this provision and administrations have used the waiver since then to provide aid to Baku. Congress should strengthen Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act by removing the President's ability to waive U.S. law prohibiting aid to Azerbaijan because of its continuing blockade against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
I urge the Administration to remove all barriers to broad-based U.S.-Nagorno Karabakh governmental and civil society communication, travel, and cooperation.
We must reaffirm America's commitment to an enduring, peaceful and democratic resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
05/11/11 - At House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on export controls, Congressman Sherman asked Under Secretary Tauscher whether the State Department would grant an export license for the satellite deal, if it had communication jamming or surveillance capabilities. The question was for the record so Under Secretary Tauscher will respond in writing.
03/23/11 - Mike Mahdesian hosted a gathering for Brad Sherman this evening, featuring remarks by former MA Governor Michael Dukakis. Raffi Hamparian attended along with two ANC activists from the San Fernando Valley - Nishan Bostanian and Nichan Kulukian.
After the gathering ended - Sherman spent half an hour or so with Mike and Raffi. We discussed the Ex-Im satellite deal at length. Raffi stressed the ANCA bullet points below. Brad reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the satellite not be suitable for dual use - military and civilian. Raffi shared that Ex-Im's people have explanied to us that they would not approve this deal in war-time Azerbaijan - which begs a number of other key questions. Brad is ready to do more than we have already asked. He wants Don to be his lead.
03/03/11 - Statement submitted for the Congressional Record on Sumgait - Mr. Speaker, I speak today in solemn remembrance of a dark chapter in modern history. This past weekend marked the 23rd anniversary of the massacre of Armenian civilians in Azerbaijan. On the evening of February 27, 1988, a three-day rampage against Armenian civilians living in Sumgait, in Soviet Azerbaijan, began.
Armenian civilians were maimed, raped, beaten, and burned alive at the hands of rioters. International media outlets reported that Armenians were 'hunted' down and killed in their homes.
The calls for help for those innocent Armenians were ignored by the local police, and the victims' fate was left to those who ruthlessly and senselessly ended their lives.
The official figure from Soviet authorities, who had prohibited journalists from entering the area, was just over 30 people dead and over 200 injured. However, many believe that in fact hundreds were murdered.
Sadly, Sumgait was not the end to the tragedies. Anti-Armenian pogroms followed in Kirovabad on November 21, 1988 and in Baku on January 13, 1990. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War of 1988 to 1994, Armenian civilian population centers were indiscriminately attacked.
If we hope to stop future massacres, and conflicts, we need to acknowledge those horrific acts of the past, make sure they do not happen again, and make sure that we do not have renewed war between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. That is why I would like to commemorate the victims of the Sumgait massacre.
02/28/11 - Sherman asked Clinton a question on Azeri war rhetoric, but did not ask her to respond at hearing.