SACRAMENTO — Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) released the following statement regarding the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

“It’s an honor to commemorate the 108th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on the Senate Floor today and to author Senate Resolution 28, which reaffirms California’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Sadly, 108 years later, the two successor states of Genocide perpetrators – Turkey and Azerbaijan – continue their aggression against the Armenian people. While Armenia and Artsakh have tried to recover from the 2020 war, attacks on the border and violations of human rights have not stopped.

As the only state or federal elected representative from the U.S. to have toured Artsakh since the 44-Day War, I witnessed firsthand the destructive impact the war had on a peaceful people. I met with wounded soldiers and I prayed at memorials – sadly filled with weeping, mourning family members. It was a deeply emotional experience that has me angry and determined to speak up.

The current illegal blockade of Artsakh, the imprisonment of Armenian POWs and civilians, and systematic destruction of Armenian cultural and religious sites is part of Azerbaijan’s ongoing and brutal campaign of ethnic cleaning against the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh.

Earlier this year, I worked with the Armenian community to lead efforts calling on the White House to take action against Azerbaijan by immediately ending military assistance and requesting that emergency humanitarian aid be delivered to the people of Artsakh. It is critical that we move beyond words and take meaningful action to put an end to the inhumane blockade and demand the re-opening of the Lachin Corridor.

California is home to the largest Armenian American population. They have made significant contributions to the 25th Senate District and this great state. I am honored to represent this vibrant community and stand in solidarity with all those who continue to advocate for justice. We have a moral obligation to not only condemn all genocides and violations of human rights, but also to hold perpetrators accountable in order to have a more peaceful and just world for this generation and all future ones.”

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