(Los Angeles, California)—On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion, introduced by Supervisor Lindsey Horvath and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the ANCA-Western Region’s endorsed candidate for re-election to the LA County Board of Supervisors in 2024.
The motion condemns Azerbaijan’s extensive war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of the basic human rights of the people of Artsakh in its genocidal campaign against the Armenian People, and encourages humanitarian aid via telehealth services specific to treating burn wounds and skin grafting techniques, while raising awareness of the need for urgent medical and humanitarian response from medical professionals and others to provide specialized care and support for Artsakh refugees. The ANCA Western Region submitted a letter of support and provided live testimony urging passage of the motion. This motion is one of several steps taken by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in support of their Armenian-American constituents.
“It is so important that we raise awareness surrounding the ongoing atrocities being committed against Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh, as it is our duty to intervene and eliminate the threat of another genocide of the Armenian people,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “Los Angeles is home to a large Armenian American diaspora, and today’s motion makes clear that LA County stands in solidarity with the Armenian people today and everyday, and that we will continue to raise awareness and step up to provide aid wherever we can.”
This motion was introduced in an effort to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the hundreds of Artsakh civilians injured during the Berkadzor Fuel Depot explosion on September 25, 2023. The Berkadzor explosion occurred amidst a mass exodus of thousands of ethnic Armenians forcibly displaced from Artsakh, triggered by Azerbaijan’s large-scale military offensive launched just a week earlier against the Republic of Artsakh. Prior to the offensive, Azerbaijan had imposed a ten-month-long illegal blockade against the 120,000 Armenians of Artsakh, leading to critical shortages of vital supplies, including food, medicine, and fuel. In the aftermath of the offensive, petrol stations were inundated by the surges of people desperately trying to leave the area. At the time of the explosion, hundreds of civilians were crowded at the station, resulting in more than 200 deaths and 300+ injuries.
“This motion is an important first step in our extensive and ongoing efforts to address the emerging humanitarian needs of the 100,000 Artsakh refugees, whose lives have been irrevocably changed as a result of Azerbaijan’s unbridled and unchecked aggression,” said Nora Hovsepian, Esq., Chair of the ANCA Western Region. “Through our extensive and coordinated efforts with policymakers and institutions alike, we welcome passage of this motion as it provides for tangible support for this vulnerable population. We are deeply grateful to Supervisors Horvath and Barger as well as the entire Board of Supervisors, for their unwavering support of our community and the issues it faces.”
“I co-authored today’s motion to continue demonstrating my solidarity with my Armenian-American constituents and the Armenian community worldwide,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Our County must continue using its powerful influence to both condemn the heinous acts of genocide by the Azerbaijani government and mobilize medical volunteers to tend to the suffering happening overseas. I’m hopeful the forthcoming partnership between Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services and Traveling Doctors will result in more volunteers directly tending to the suffering taking place in Artsakh. The need is great.”
ANCA Western Region continues to fervently advocate for aid to address the urgent humanitarian needs of Artsakh refugees, establish their right-of-return to their ancestral homeland, accountability for the Aliyev regime’s unpunished crimes against the Armenian People via sanctions, and the cessation of all aid and assistance to Azerbaijan. To that end, the ANCA-WR is working with policymakers at all levels of government, exhausting all efforts possible in the service of the Armenian People.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.