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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 08 May 2015 - 01:33 PM


8 hours ago

Texas State legislature rejected a pro-Azerbaijani resolution

AUSTIN-Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohab on Thursday pulled
from consideration a misleading resolution (HR2309) "Commemorating
the 25th Anniversary of the Black January events in Azerbaijan" he
introduced late April filled with factually inaccurate historical
information with respect to the events that led to the country's
independence as well as its policies regarding people's right to
self-determination and independence, reported the Armenian National
Committee of America - Western Region.

"The power of our grassroots' in Texas against the persistent,
yet failed, efforts backed by the Azerbaijani lobby to shamefully
introduce legislation that blatantly misrepresents facts is a real
testament to our community's and organization's resolve to pursue
truth and justice for our Cause," remarked ANCA-WR Executive Director
Elen Asatryan. "We were particularly pleased to see Representative
Bohac's quick response and reconsideration to ultimately withdraw
the resolution after gaining better understanding of the facts about
Azerbaijan and the region," added Asatryan.

Jeff Stokes, Legislative Director for State Representative Dwayne
Bohac informed Asbarez that Bohac's office had received numerous
requests from constituents to introduce a measure such as HR2309.

"When we realized it was a mistake, we placed it on permanent hold,"
said Stokes, who explained that per Texas law once a hold is placed
on a piece of legislation, no further action is taken on the matter.

The decision to place a permanent hold on HR2309 came just 16 hours
after ANCA WR worked with local community leaders and activists
to alert Bohac about the facts surrounding the events that led to
Azerbaijan's independence, the corrupt and authoritarian regime of
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the country's gross human
rights violations, coverage of which has increased in the American
press most recently in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times,
under the headlines, "A Thuggish Regime Challenges the U.S." and
"The Two Faces of Azerbaijan's Mr. Aliyev" respectively.

More specifically, late Monday evening ANCA WR Executive Director
Elen Asatryan submitted a written statement to Bohac opposing the
resolution on behalf of the regional, Dallas and Houston chapters
noting, "The resolution gives the impression that Azerbaijan was
invaded in retaliation for its independence movement. However, the
truth is that troops were sent to Azerbaijan in order to protect the
nearly half million Christian Armenians who were being subjected to
violent pogroms and massacres throughout the nation in a campaign
of ethnic cleansing. Azerbaijan's hostility was its response to
the calls for independence by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR),
which was an autonomous region at the time, thereby demonstrating
its repressive policies, which are contrary to the claims made in
the language of the resolution."

Asatryan continued on to state, "Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has
the dubious honor of being selected as the most corrupt person by the
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The NGO's
finding is based on extensive reports and well-documented evidence
that the Aliyev family has been systematically grabbing shares of
the most profitable businesses in Azerbaijan for many years.

Earlier this week, the Committee to Protect Journalists concluded that
Azerbaijan is the fifth most censored and repressive country in the
world, out of nearly 200 countries in the world. In its report the
CPJ concluded that the 'main sources of information in Azerbaijan
are broadcasters which are owned and controlled by the state or its
proxies.' The report also noted that independent media outlets are
subjected to harassment and prosecution by officials, and that at
least ten journalists and bloggers are currently in Azerbaijani jails
on fabricated charges."

"This being a top priority, our local chapter and I specifically
reached out to Representative Dwayne Bohac's office yesterday to
convey our disappointment and opposition to the resolution. Today
when I called back to see if we made any headway, I was pleased to
hear that the office had already pulled the resolution. This truly
shows that each and every one of us can truly make a difference by
just making our voice heard," stated ANCA Dallas Chair Lucia Nazarian.

"Thank you to the Dallas community members for your efforts in
shedding light and bringing the truth to the forefront of our Texas
legislators," added Nazarian.

"I am pleased to see that the anti-Armenian resolution was withdrawn
and appreciate the diligence of the Houston Armenian community and
proud of their dedication for the Armenian Cause, " remarked ANCA
Houston Chair Vrouir Frankian.

Read the text of HR2309.

Read the full text of the ANCA WR written statement.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the
largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy
organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination
with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the
Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country,
the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community
on a broad range of issues.

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