TO: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
I’m an Azerbaijani from _________, and I’m terrified for the safety of my family. For the past month, our communities all over the world have been targeted, abused, brutally beaten based on our ethnicity, by the ultra-nationalistic Armenian hate groups. Our community is shaken, outraged, and we’re struggling to access support.
These are not events happening in a remote war zone – the documented racist hate crime attacks have taken place in Los Angeles, Brussels, Toronto, London, Moscow, amongst the many cities, in July and August alone. Videos of every case are provided in links.
- The Los Angeles Police Department has launched 3 hate crime investigations against Armenian Americans after they brutally beat peaceful Azerbaijani protesters in Brentwood, California, on June 21, 2020. Four Azerbaijanis were taken to the UCLA Emergency. Videos of the beatings are hard to watch because they reek of ethnic hatred and contain obscene, racist slurs, and violence.
- Armenian Instagram groups have been discovered this July to be offering $500 for information about Azerbaijani families living in California. Azerbaijani women are afraid to leave their homes with their children in Central Los Angeles. These groups have been reported to the US Homeland Security, and an investigation is underway.
- In Brussels, Belgium, on July 22, 2020, five Armenians are seen on video chasing a young Azerbaijani man into the woods and proceeding to beat him with their feet violently. The victim was taken to the hospital with his face bleeding. The Armenian attackers filmed the video themselves, and gleefully shared it online, priding themselves on their ethnically motivated violence.
- Also in Brussels, on the same day (July 22), a mob armed with sharp cutting tools and stones attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy, causing psychical injuries to six Azerbaijanis, including a correspondent of the European Bureau of “Real TV” Khatira Abdullazade. She received medical treatment on the same day. Employees of the diplomatic mission were injured, there was destruction in the mission’s administrative building, windows were broken, the car of a member of the Azerbaijani community was damaged, and an attempt was made to attack the area where the diplomats’ family members live https://www.eureporter.co/politics/2020/07/25/unprecedented-attack-on-a-diplomatic-mission-of-azerbaijan-in-europe/
- On August 2nd, two Azerbaijani men leaving a fast-food restaurant in Toronto were attacked by a group of armed Armenians. The mob shot the victims with rubber bullets, vandalized their car, and fled the scene as soon as the police sirens were heard. Toronto Police arrived immediately and are in the process of launching a hate crime investigation.
- Members of an Armenian Terrorist Organization ASALA – responsible for 46 deaths in the past and hundreds of injuries from terrorist attacks – were seen at the Los Angeles protest on July 22, 2020, wearing ASALA shirts. The crowd of more than a thousand Armenians was recorded shouting racist anti-Azerbaijani slurs, attacking a group of Azerbaijani protestors, stomping on the Azerbaijani flag while laughing, and making disturbing murder threats. This is a threat to communities everywhere.
We are outraged, and we are shaken. We are not being heard because we do not have organized diaspora organizations, with political lobbying offices in Washington, like the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). ANCA weaponizes ethnicity and religion in order to bolster hate within their Armenian communities and is partly responsible for this global terrorization of our Azerbaijani communities. We have written to ANCA numerously, exposing their vile political agenda, and asking them to de-escalate the tensions, but have not received a single response.
For context, the widespread terrorization of our communities stems from the Nagorno-Karabagh occupation of Azerbaijan.
20% of Azerbaijani territory today is occupied by Armenia. Since 1994, the international community has unequivocally recognized Azerbaijan’s territorial sovereignty and has condemned Armenia’s military occupation. Four UN Security Council resolutions and the UN General Assembly Resolution A.RES/62/243 have demanded Armenia’s immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal from Azerbaijan’s territory to no avail. You’re likely aware of the 650,000 Azerbaijanis that were forcibly removed from their homes and their land due to this occupation. Essentially, it’s a Russia-backed occupation like the Ukrainian Crimea, in order to sustain leverage over the former Soviet regions.
On June 12th, while the world was fighting the pandemic, shooting began at the Armenia Azerbaijani border. Armenian armed forces, through the use of heavy artillery, killed 12 Azerbaijani military personnel, including four high-ranking military officers. Civilian homes in the town of Tovuz have been destroyed. Two civilians were killed. This led to a wave of demonstrations of Azerbaijanis all over the world, asking for the international community to finally enforce the UN Security Resolutions condemning Armenia’s occupation, and free the country from a 27-year-old conflict. Our communities received city permits in Houston, London, Toronto, Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich, Boston, Geneva, marching to raise our voices to end Armenian aggression.
In a vile attempt to silence us, we’ve since faced a wave of hate crimes, terror threats, and racism against Azerbaijanis of all faiths, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Our Jewish community is battling a wave of both ethnic hatred and anti-Semitism from Armenian far-right, ultra-nationalistic hate groups worldwide. It’s incomprehensible that Azerbaijani mothers are afraid to walk their children in European, Canadian, and American streets, in fear of ethnically charged abuse. It’s incomprehensible that they fear calling their children by their Azerbaijani names in public. We have issued warnings to our communities to stay home and remove any signs of their nationality, like flags or stickers, from their homes and vehicles. Unlike the organized Armenian lobby, we do not have influence over American media channels in order to inform the world of what is being done to us, as they block access for any such news to enter the public domain. The world is silent. The emotional and psychological damage to our community is frightening.
We ask Amnesty International, the largest grassroots human rights organization, to investigate the persecution of Azerbaijanis by Armenian hate groups and use your platform to condemn Armenian aggression and Armenian hate crimes against Azerbaijani families worldwide. We urge you:
- To investigate and expose anti-Azerbaijani abuses
- To educate the public and mobilize their support for victims of anti-Azerbaijani hate crimes everywhere
- To help create a safer world, not only for Azerbaijanis but also for other minority communities that are being oppressed and silenced everywhere
We are shaken, that letters like this are still being written today, pleading for help against racist hate crimes happening today.
We look forward to your assistance and responses in light of this information. We hope to finally, finally be heard.