ANCA Policy Memo: Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024 (H.R.8141)

The Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024 (H.R.8141) requires the Administration to report within 180 days of passage the applicability of sanctions on Azerbaijani officials responsible for human rights violations. The bill refers to two sanctions mechanisms – the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and Section 7031 of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Act.

The Global Magnitsky Act authorizes the President to impose economic sanctions and deny entry into the United States to any foreign person identified as engaging in human rights abuse or corruption.

Section 7031 of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Act requires the Secretary of State to make foreign officials and their family members ineligible for U.S. entry if there is evidence that such individuals have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights.

ANCA Legislative Request

The ANCA is urging U.S. Representatives to co-sponsor the bipartisan “Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024” (H.R.8141), introduced by Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to hold Azerbaijani officials accountable for extrajudicial killings, the arbitrary detention of Armenian POWs and civilian captives, the torture and abuse of detainees, and the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Azerbaijani Officials Responsible for War Crimes

The Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights (ALC-JHR), in collaboration with its partners at the International Comparative Law Center in Yerevan, Armenia, has compiled a list of over 40 Azerbaijani officials verified to have been directly involved in the planning and perpetration of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The list includes senior officials in Azerbaijan’s ministries of justice and defense, military officials, and specific units responsible for overseeing and carrying out war crimes, as well as judges and lawyers responsible for the arbitrary detention of captives. The ALC-JHR has filed comprehensive reports on each of these cases with the Departments of State and Treasury to trigger a formal assessment of the applicability of Global Magnitsky Act Sanctions against Azerbaijani officials.

Costs of Failing to Sanction Human Rights Abusers

Following Azerbaijan’s blockade and military assault on Artsakh last year that led to the genocidal ethnic cleansing of the region’s entire Armenian community – and amid the ongoing occupation of sovereign Armenian territory, and continued attacks on Armenia – it is imperative that Azerbaijan face consequences for its behavior to deter further violence and war crimes. Additionally, given Azerbaijan’s continued illegal detention and abuse of Armenian prisoners of war, civilian captives, and government officials from Artsakh, Magnitsky Sanctions represent a tool to pressure Azerbaijan to secure their immediate release.

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