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Bill Urging Azerbaijan to Release Armenian POWs Coming to Congress

The Armenian National Committee of America on Friday, March 5 welcomed new legislation to be introduced by Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders calling on Azerbaijan to immediately release more than 200 Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians, illegally kept hostage over 100 days after the November 9 ceasefire statement between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia, PanARMENIAN.Net reports.

The bipartisan U.S. House resolution, spearheaded by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Frank Pallone Jr.(D-NJ), cites findings that Azerbaijani military forces have mistreated ethnic Armenian prisoners of war and subjected them to “physical abuse and humiliation,” including beheadings, summary executions, and the desecration of human remains.

The measure specifically highlights “significant concern that female detainees in particular could be subject to sexual assaults and other mistreatment,” and asks the State Department to “to engage at all levels with Azerbaijani authorities including through the OSCE Minsk Group process to make clear the importance of adhering to their obligations under the November 9 statement & international law to immediately release all prisoners of war and captured civilians.”

Armenian Caucus leaders circulated a letter to their U.S. House colleagues asking them to join as original cosponsors of the measure, set to be introduced in the next week.

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