From the very start of this war, Garo Ghazarian and Karnig Kerkonian, Co-Chairs of the Armenian Rights Watch Committee (ARWC), prominent Armenian lawyers in the United States, have supported colleagues in Armenia every day since 27 September 2020, Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said as he hailed it as an example of true cooperation between Homeland and Diaspora in the field of human rights.
Mr. Ghazarian is based in Los Angeles and Mr. Kerkonian, in Chicago.
“Throughout the war, they played an unparalleled role in protecting human rights in Artsakh and Armenia, by assisting the Human Rights Defenders in Armenia and Artsakh in compiling, monitoring, reporting, documenting and analyzing war crimes by Azerbaijan, and by cultivating strong ties with international human rights organizations in the United States and other countries.,” the Ombudsman said in a Facebook post.
“Thanks to their efforts, cooperation was fostered with other Armenian organizations in the Diaspora too, they being the bridge between the Armenian Diaspora, on the one hand, and Armenia and Artsakh, on the other.,” Tatoyan added.
He said Mr. Ghazarian and Mr. Kerkonian, through their dedicated efforts and true professionalism, have raised and continue to raise public awareness through the Armenian Bar Association of the United States about the hostilities, the true objectives of the Azerbaijani authorities, including Azerbaijani war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Artsakh and Armenia.
“During this time, they also led a series of widely-broadcast public discussions not only on legal matters related to the war, but also on its geopolitical and historical implications. Thanks to their devoted public activities and engagements, not only the Armenian Diaspora, but also the international community, was accurately informed about the war. Their efforts and contributions have been simply invaluable,” the Human Rights Defender noted.
To this day, he said, Garo Ghazarian and Karnig Kerkonian continue to support the Human Rights Defenders Offices of Armenia and teh Republic of Artsakh by providing their assistance around the clock in all human rights matters and issues (i.e. official letters to international bodies, follow-up work on the return of prisoners of war, recording of Azerbaijani war crimes, and a host of other issues).
“It is especially important that they, as long-time practicing lawyers in the United States, utilize their practical knowledge and experience to support us. They are our partners, and as partners, they also did absolutely the same selfless service during our crisis in April of 2016, during July of 2020, and indeed during all other periods of hostilities and crisis in years past,” Arman Tatoyan emphasized.
He added that the lawyers continue to undertake measures to protect the rights of Armenians in other countries of the world, from the Middle East to Europe, from South America to the United States of America and other countries.
“Their support over the years is a genuine example of what cooperation between Armenia and Artsakh and the Diaspora should be like,” the Ombudsman concluded.