Two recent commentaries (Maine Voices, Jan. 5 and Jan. 30) have appeared in the Press Herald warning about an impending genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has issued a red flag alert for genocide for Azerbaijan. The ethnic Armenian population in Artsakh remains under a blockade since Dec. 12.

The architect of this blockade, Ilham Aliyev, is a corrupt and genocidal despot. He inherited the presidency of Azerbaijan in 2003 in a fraudulent election. All subsequent elections were fraudulent. The 2013 presidential election results were accidentally released before the polls opened! There are no term limits, free press or free assembly. Aliyev’s wife is vice president.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project named Aliyev the 2012 Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption! The Azerbaijani Laundromat scandal exposes the bribery of European politicians to whitewash his authoritarian and corrupt practices.

Aliyev foments virulent anti-Armenian hatred to deflect from criminal behavior. Children are taught in school to hate Armenians. Azerbaijani military officer Ramil Safarov was revered for ax murdering an Armenian military officer. The Military Trophy Park in Baku glorifies the death and torture of Armenian soldiers.

A resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate Azerbaijan for war crimes, deploy international observers, block military aid to Azerbaijan and sanction responsible officials is aimed at preventing genocide. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden are original co-sponsors. The Senate version is being drafted. Please call Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to follow suit. Your voice matters. You can help prevent the second Armenian Genocide.

Gary Zartarian
West Bath

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