“You cannot be involved in negotiations when President Aliyev uses genocide as a method of negotiation,” — Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, urging President Biden to end Azerbaijan’s genocidal Artsakh blockade
WASHINGTON, DC – Former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo called out President Biden’s complicity in Azerbaijan’s ongoing genocide against Artsakh’s 120,000 indigenous Christian Armenians, in powerful remarks delivered before a Congressional hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC).
“President Biden or Secretary Blinken can officially tell Mr. Aliyev to remove tomorrow, unconditionally, the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, or we consider you responsible for genocide. […] And, of course, that will trigger a lot of consequences,” stated Ocampo, speaking in a packed Rayburn House Office Building hearing room.
Ocampo pushed back against arguments that Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations may be hampered by the proper characterization of genocide describing Azerbaijan’s over 260-day blockade of Artsakh. “The negotiation is between a genocider and his victims. You cannot ask for a negotiation between Hitler and the people in Auschwitz. It’s not a negotiation. You have to stop Auschwitz and then discuss negotiation. And that, I think, is the secret here,” stated Ocampo. The former ICC prosecutor went on to note that “knowing that President Aliyev is using genocide and trying to deny the genocide, the U.S. assistance to deny the genocide could be considered complicity.”
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian echoed Ocampo, underscoring that: “Today’s hearing put President Biden on public notice that he is – according to the spirit and the letter of the Genocide Convention – complicit in Azerbaijan’s genocide against the 120,000 indigenous Christian Armenians of Artsakh – citizens of an at-risk democracy blockaded by an oil-rich dictatorship.”