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Members of Congress Promote Accountability for Artsakh, Humanitarian Aid
09/15/2021 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) –International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the U.S. Congressional House Rules Committee will consider several amendments filed to the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R. 4350) on September 20th. These amendments would monitor the Turkish Nationalist Grey Wolves, promote humanitarian assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh), and hold Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable for their crimes during the 2020 Karabakh War.
This move comes at a time when the U.S. government is beginning to pay more attention to the Grey Wolves, a Turkic nationalist group responsible for some of the atrocities committed against Armenian Christians during the 2020 Karabakh War. Specifically, Amendment #579 to the bill, proposed by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), calls on the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on Grey Wolf activities and determine whether the group meets the threshold to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
ICC has covered the threats posed by the Grey Wolves in several publications, including its report on last years’ war, Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War. Grey Wolf ideology has continued to spread throughout the world, along with the threats of violence against Christians and any other group that stands in the way of Turkic expansionism.
Alongside Rep. Titus’ proposal, several other members of Congress have submitted amendments to H.R.4350. Armenian Caucus members Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) together proposed Amendment #408, calling for a report on the U.S. humanitarian response to the 2020 war. Additionally, the amendment directs the government to investigate avenues for future assistance programs to help Christians in Artsakh who are still in dire need of aid.
ICC has made these recommendations since January 2021, and even conducted an investigative field trip to Artsakh shortly after, resulting in the report Nagorno-Karabakh: A Humanitarian Perspective. ICC has continuously found that Karabakh War was driven by extremist elements such as the Grey Wolves and that serious religious freedom violations remain ongoing. ICC also conducted an investigative trip to California, where it was found that the religious freedom violations unique to the Artsakh conflict were exported to the American-Armenian community.
ICC’s Director of Advocacy Matias Perttula has consistently been working to advance these policy priorities with several U.S. government offices. “We welcome the amendments from these representatives and encourage others to join in on these efforts to curb the Grey Wolves and help the Christians of Artsakh,” said Perttula. “We will continue to track developments from Artsakh and make sure to hold Turkey, Azerbaijan, and the Grey Wolves accountable for their violence against Armenian Christians.”
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