Our Work

The alliteration of words starting with the letter “d” in the following phrase is less a contrivance as much as it is a horrid half-rhyme of the recurring fate that has befallen the Armenian people in modern history and now still.

Discrimination, dehumanization, displacement, dispossession, deportation and death, time and again for the Armenian and, on the other hand, deflection, denigration, dismissal, and denial, over and over again by the perpetrator.  From the Hamidian massacres at the end of the 19th century, to the Genocide of 1915-1923, to the anti -Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan from 1988-1991, to the current cold-blooded abduction of Artsakh, the vicious cycle continues.

We can’t seem to catch a break and that’s why the AGRC is forced into being and pressed into action, not because we want to do this, but because we must. Here is a representative list of some of the AGRC’s efforts to resist the dismantlement of the truth and to rouse the consequences of the crimes committed against the Armenian nation:

  • Preparation of amicus curiae briefs filed in federal circuit courts of appeal and in the U.S. Supreme Court in cases dealing with life insurance and bank deposit assets withheld from the heirs of the victims of the Genocide.
  • Similar legal filings in cases addressing Nazi-looted art, including advocacy for the repatriation of art and antiquities misappropriated from Armenians before, during, and after the Genocide.
  • Meet and confer deliberations with U.S.-based art galleries and museums to establish the provenance of plundered personal property with the aim of its return to the rightful owners.
  • Participation in academic and legal conferences at leading universities and law schools which unpack and reframe, under national and international laws, the great national dispossession of the Armenian people and explore avenues of redress.
  • Interventions at junior high and high schools in various states, including the AGRC’s on-campus visits, where the instruction of the Armenian Genocide in the social studies curriculum was subject to derision and where certain treatment of students and teachers who sought to include accurate instruction implicated potentially actionable conduct on the part of the administration.  As a result, the Armenian Bar and the educational institutions entered into favorable memoranda of understandings which now require the schools to incorporate more scrupulous Armenian Genocide-related study programs.
  • Partnership with the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan (see article below) to document, primarily through oral histories and scholarly papers and presentations, the lives and losses of the Armenian people, with an initial focus on the anti-Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan which gave rise to Artsakh’s national liberation movement.

So, this is a little of what we do, and we welcome you to help us rebut the presumption that Plus Ca Change, Plus C’est La Meme Chose (The More Thing Change, The More They Stay The Same).

Chair:
Armen K. Hovannisian
Los Angeles, CA
[email protected]

Armenian Bar Association and Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Formalize Five-Year Partnership

The Armenian Bar Association and the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI) have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which launches a constructive, multi-dimensional partnership for an initial period of five years. In the shadow of renewed atrocities and the forced displacement of ethnic Armenians from their native homeland of Artsakh, the collaboration serves as a foundation for the reinforcement of advocacy and an engine of unity to address the existential challenges of the Armenian people today.

Taline Sahakian, Chairperson of the Armenian Bar, remarks that “operating under the scope of coordinated educational, documentation and legal initiatives, this partnership has the potential to take central stage in buttressing efforts to vindicate rights and enforce responsibilities relating to the Artsakh conflict and Armenian Genocide alike.”

Edita Gzoyan, Acting Director of the AGMI, commended “the institutionalization of this truly meaningful collaboration which will synergize the work of each organization and foster scholarship and research initiatives that are of interest to Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide.”

The MOU envisages four key areas of cooperation under which the parties share opportunities for collaborations and joint projects: (i) conferences and symposiums; (ii) scholarships and research groups; (iii) research publication; and (iv) litigation support. The Armenian Genocide Reparations Committee and the Armenia Programs Committee will be the AGMI’s main partners within the ABA with regard to the projects.

Under the aligned vision of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Committee and AGMI, the partnership has already begun work on the documentation of anti-Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan and the dissection of the growing issue of transnational Armenophobia. Significantly, the MOU also commits to the co-hosting of two or more conferences on Artsakh and Armenian Genocide reparations, which will provide platforms for lively and ongoing scholarly discussions pertaining to these important issues in institutions globally.

Professor Harutyun Marutyan, immediate past Director of the AGMI and current chair of the AGMI’s Department of the Study of the Oppression of the Armenians of Artsakh, Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan, sums up that “we are excited to cultivate and grow our partnership with the Armenian Bar Association in joint endeavors that, in the end, will serve to safeguard our people’s history and protect its future.”


Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan 1988-1990

In light of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Artsakh, the Armenian Bar Association is leading an effort to record testimonies from those Armenians who were victimized by Soviet Azerbaijan.  The aspiration of the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) to realize their right to self-determination in the 1980s was met with waves of Armenian massacres in Soviet Azerbaijan: unprecedentedly brutal murders, violence and plunder.

The first victims of Azerbaijan’s policy to suppress the free expression of the will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh by force were the Armenians of the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait located several hundred kilometers away from Nagorno Karabakh. The pogroms in Sumgait lasted 3 days, from February 27 to 29, 1988.

The second wave of the Armenian massacres in Azerbaijan commenced in November 1988. The largest ones occurred in Kirovabad, Shamakhi, Shamkir, and Mingachevir. During the same period, in November and December 1988, 50 Armenian settlements were displaced from the hilly and mountainous parts of Artsakh: Khanlar, Dashkesan, Shamkhor and Getabek, including 48,000 Armenians of Kirovabad. The pogroms, murders, violence and persecution of the Armenian population in Azerbaijan culminated in mass murders and the eventual displacement of Armenians from those cities in January 1990.

Afterwards, in 1991, during “Operation Ring,” Azerbaijan Special Forces and the Soviet Army organized the bombardment, torture, and forcible deportation of thousands of Armenians in dozens of villages in the Khanlar and Shahumyan districts, Artsakh, and along the eastern border of the Armenian SSR.  

If you were a victim of the pogroms, we urge you to email us at [email protected].

Do You or a Family Member Have a Claim?

You may be entitled to reparations if:
  • You are a descendant of an Armenian Genocide survivor; and/or
  • You or your ancestors resided in the former Ottoman Empire; and/or
  • You or your ancestors owned property in the former Ottoman Empire

Document Collection

The AGRC undertakes the collection of relevant documents in the pursuit of reparations. Please submit any documents that may be related to claims or otherwise to receive feedback for a potential legal initiative.
To determine eligibility, please email inquiries and/or documents to [email protected]

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2024 International Law Symposium: Call for Papers

The humanitarian crisis for the ethnic Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) [as a result of Azerbaijan’s complete military encirclement, months-long blockade, and, ultimately, the entire Armenian population’s forced migration out of Nagorno-Karabakh] raise oft-ignored questions about the universality and effectiveness of non-derogable international human rights norms. This Call for Papers seeks submissions of abstracts for papers exploring the relationship between human rights and unrecognized or partially recognized States (viz, countries), particularly in connection with the live issues in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Learn More