ACA Welcomes U.S. Sanctions on Azerbaijan Government Official, Calls for Greater Application of Global Magnitsky Act Sanctions

Marking the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and International Human Rights Day, on Friday, December 9th, the U.S. Department of State released a new fact sheet on Combating Global Corruption and Human Rights Abuses listing a government official from Azerbaijan “for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights.”

According to the fact sheet, the Department of State has officially designated Kerim Heydar Alimardanov (Alimardanov), an official in the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime within the Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs, known as the “Bandotdel,” for human rights violations, “namely torture of detainees in 2015 and 2016.”

The Armenian Council of America (ACA) welcomes the announcement of U.S. sanctions on Azerbaijani officials and calls for additional sanctions to be applied to Azerbaijani military and government officials who were involved in the 2020 Second Nagorno Karabakh war launched by Azerbaijan on the peaceful Armenian citizens of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and the Republic of Armenia in which Azerbaijani government officials recruited and transported ISIS terrorist fighters from Syria into Artsakh and Armenia with the Republic of Turkey’s help, conducted illegal executions and body mutilations of Armenian services members, illegally held captive over 200 Armenian services members (nearly 100 of which are still held hostage), and used internationally banned White Phosphorus munitions during it’s illegal military offensive on Armenia, amongst other war crimes.

WASHINGTON, DC – Marking the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and International Human Rights Day, on Friday, December 9th, the U.S. Department of State released a new fact sheet on Combating Global Corruption and Human Rights Abuses listing a government official from Azerbaijan “for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights.”

According to the fact sheet, the Department of State has officially designated Kerim Heydar Alimardanov (Alimardanov), an official in the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime within the Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs, known as the “Bandotdel,” for human rights violations, “namely torture of detainees in 2015 and 2016.”

The Armenian Council of America (ACA) welcomes the announcement of U.S. sanctions on Azerbaijani officials and calls for additional sanctions to be applied to Azerbaijani military and government officials who were involved in the 2020 Second Nagorno Karabakh war launched by Azerbaijan on the peaceful Armenian citizens of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and the Republic of Armenia in which Azerbaijani government officials recruited and transported ISIS terrorist fighters from Syria into Artsakh and Armenia with the Republic of Turkey’s help, conducted illegal executions and body mutilations of Armenian services members, illegally held captive over 200 Armenian services members (nearly 100 of which are still held hostage), and used internationally banned White Phosphorus munitions during it’s illegal military offensive on Armenia, amongst other war crimes.

This appears to be the first time that Global Magnitsky Act sanctions have been applied to Azerbaijani government officials.

“This is an important first step for the U.S. in delivering justice for those who continue to be harmed by the brutal Aliyev regime in Baku,” stated ACA Board Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian. “In light of the 2020 Second Nagorno Karabakh war and the recent September 2022 attack on Armenia by Azerbaijan, greater application of Global Magnitsky Act sanctions on Azerbaijani military and government officials are warranted.”

As a grassroots organization, ACA is dedicated to working with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.