The Armenian Rights Watch Committee (ARWC) of the ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION welcomes today’s unanimous resolution of the US House of Representatives (USHR) condemning the violence by the Turkish president’s bodyguards, which took place targeting innocent protesters in Washington DC on May 16, 2017.
While we applaud the strong message issued by our country’s legislature, the ARWC continues to maintain our call to the executive branch of our government, as set forth in our earlier statement entitled “…Weakness is not an option with Turkey,” dated May 25, 2017.
To reiterate, our country’s executive branch too must speak, and it must speak out forcefully and in unison with the legislative branch. It must unequivocally declare that our government will not stand idly by when agents of a foreign government at the direction of their leader — as done by Erdogan of Turkey — answer a tyrant’s call for violence of barbaric proportions to be inflicted on US citizens while they exercise their constitutional rights.
The executive branch must mete out commensurate consequences against these thuggish Turkish security personnel who heeded their bellicose president’s orders and, in so doing, they had the unbridled audacity to attack the Capitol’s law enforcement officers. All this while our peace officers were engaged in fulfillment of their sworn duties — to protect and serve our fellow citizens and their rights of “peaceful assembly” and “freedom of expression” guaranteed under our Constitution. All this on American soil, no less!
The executive branch must heed the example of the USHR, and, starting with the White House and on to the Department of State and beyond take swift action to condemn and to penalize the actors who participated in the carnage. It must exact equitable justice against the so-called Turkish republic’s authoritarian head of state and the 21st century’s aspiring sultan Erdogan for the vile disrespect shown by him and at his direction against our nation and its values, on that infamous afternoon of May 16, 2017.
Armenian Rights Watch Committee—ARWC
ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION