AYF holds Washington, D.C. protest commemorating anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and Baku

Photos by Vartkaes Pamboukian and Arpa Shahnazarian

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Youth Federation – Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) Washington D.C. “Ani” Chapter organized a protest in front of the Azerbaijani embassy on Sunday afternoon, , in commemoration of those who were killed during the anti-Armenian pogroms of 1988 and calling for justice in the wake of the Artsakh genocide of 2023.

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter member Anie Shahnazarian leads chants condemning Azerbaijani attacks against Armenians in Sumgait and Baku and demands justice for the 2023 Artsakh genocide.

In late February nearly 40 years ago, the Armenian population of Azerbaijan faced a brutal and merciless massacre organized and committed by ordinary Azeri citizens. In Sumgait, mobs of Azeris gathered to attack helpless Armenian families; meanwhile in Baku, dozens to hundreds were killed, raped and brutally injured by similar mobs. Every year since these ambushes, Armenians around the world commemorate those we lost during the pogroms.

Although decades have passed since the annihilation of Armenians from Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad and Maragha, Armenian Americans and supporters demonstrated that they have not forgotten this miscarriage of justice, spending a cold Sunday afternoon passionately chanting their pleas to “stop threats of war” and “recognize the Artsakh genocide.” 

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter member Hovsep Seferian, who last year shared his family’s story of survival from Azerbaijan’s murderous attacks in Baku, roused the crowd with his speech condemning Azerbaijan’s genocidal ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians and warned of further aggression against Armenia. “Aliyev has made his intent to take Syunik very clear and has gone so far as to claim Yerevan as historic Azerbaijani territory. Make no mistake, that’s where he’s going next,” stated Seferian. He urged Armenian Americans to “answer the call of our homeland in what will become its darkest hours if we don’t act.” He emphasized the need to pass the “Armenian Protection Act of 2024 and the 502B legislation in the House and Senate [to] cut American aid from Azerbaijan and keep American taxpayer dollars out of the hands of dictators like Aliyev and Erdogan.” 

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter member Hovsep Seferian roused the crowd with his speech condemning Azerbaijan’s genocidal ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians and warned of further aggression against Armenia.

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter member Sune Hamparian, describing the 1988 Sumgait massacres, noted, “These pogroms should not and cannot be confused with the spontaneous acts of an angry crowd. Like the genocide of 1915, they were premeditated.” Spotlighting the existential threat facing the Armenian homeland, Hamparian explained, “Having emptied Western Armenia, then Nakhichevan and now Artsakh, they’ve turned their sights on Syunik. Their goal: an Armenia emptied of Armenians. Their weapon: terror and violence.” 

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter member Sune Hamparian warned, “Having emptied Western Armenia, then Nakhichevan and now Artsakh, they’ve [Azerbaijan/Turkey] turned their sights on Syunik. Their goal: an Armenia emptied of Armenians. Their weapon: terror and violence.”Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian followed, urging congressional action to sanction Azerbaijan, send assistance to survivors of the Artsakh genocide and ensure their dignified and safe return to Artsakh. “If you all show up, if you all turn out, we can get our congressional delegations on board,” stated Hamparian.  ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian outlines Armenian American demands from U.S. leaders, including sanctions on Azerbaijan, expanded aid to Artsakh Genocide victims and efforts to ensure the secure and dignified return of Artsakh Armenians to their indigenous homes.

AYF D.C. “Ani” vice-chair Matt Girardi then closed the gathering with brief remarks reminding Armenians that “[while] some see our struggle as a burden, I see it as a sign of life, because we have much to fight for!” Then he added, “Artsakh will return to us, Nakhichevan will return to us, and we will leave future generations of Armenians with peace, prosperity and security in a free, united and independent Armenia.”

AYF D.C. “Ani” Chapter vice-chair Matt Girardi leads protest chants at the commemoration of Azerbaijani atrocities in Sumgait and Baku (1988-1992).

The AYF urges all readers to take action on the ANCA website to support the passage of the Armenian Protection Act, impose sanctions on Azerbaijan by passing 502B legislation and divest funds from Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Videos from the AYF-led protest are available here:

Founded in 1942, the AYF Washington DC “Ani” and “Sevan” chapters work to unite Armenian youth and organize activities in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. The chapter has a Senior ("Ani") and Junior ("Sevan") chapter. The Washington DC “Ani” chapter sets out to achieve its goals and objectives throughout the year and hosts events like joint meetings between DMV juniors and juniors in Armenia, protests and other forms of political activism, an annual chapter anniversary dinner and fundraisers to benefit the homeland. The AYF-YOARF's five pillars (athletic, cultural educational, political, social) guide the chapter and help keep its membership active and at the forefront of the Armenian cause at all times.

Armenian National Committee of Australia Board Member Gisele Kapterian To Run For Federal Parliament

Feb 24 2024

SYDNEY: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has welcomed the pre-selection of one of its valued board members, Gisele Kapterian, who will be running in the next Federal election as the Liberal Candidate for the seat of North Sydney.

Kapterian has begun an extended leave of absence from her position on the ANC-AU National Board as she campaigns for the seat ahead of the next Federal election.

As an active member of the Armenian-Australian community and a dedicated advocate for social justice and community empowerment, Kapterian brings a wealth of experience and a passionate commitment to serving the people of North Sydney.

As a longstanding member of the ANC-AU Board and previous background as an international lawyer and political staffer – including senior advisory roles for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as Chief of Staff to a Federal Minister – Kapterian has demonstrated exemplary leadership, talent and a deep understanding of the issues facing her community and the broader Australian society.

The ANC-AU wishes Kapterian all the best for her campaign.

Kapterian, who was preselected in late 2023, said, “This part of the world is my home, and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to fight for the people of North Sydney and represent them in our nation’s parliament.”

Michael Kolokossian, Executive Director of the ANC-AU, said: “Gisele Kapterian is an incredibly talented colleague with a wealth of valuable experience. She has been a true asset to the ANC-AU board and can be an even greater asset to the Australian nation. We thank Gisele for her hard work and service to the Armenian-Australian community.”


    Russia: CSTO did not receive Armenian request for suspension

    Prensa Latina
    Feb 23 2024

    Regarding Pashinian’s thesis about the “freezing of participation” in the CSTO, the Secretariat added that it is all about “the non-participation of the Republic of Armenia in a series of events that the organization has recently held.”

    On Friday, Pashinian stated in an interview with France24 television channel that the CSTO was not put into practice with regards to Armenia, which is why Yerevan suspended its participation in the organization.

    The Collective Security Treaty was signed in 1992 between Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A year later, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia joined the pact. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan withdrew from the Treaty in 1999, but the latter’s membership was restored in 2006 and lasted until 2012.

    The Collective Security Council decided to grant the Treaty the status of an international organization in 2002, when Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan approved the CSTO Charter.


    EU denies Azerbaijan’s accusations against monitoring mission in Armenia


    YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 21, ARMENPRESS. The EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) is implementing its mandate and accusations of carrying out any other activities are baseless, EU Ambassador to Armenia Vassilis Maragos said when asked to comment on the Azerbaijani foreign ministry’s statement on EUMA.

    “Our mission has a very clearly defined mandate. It is deployed on the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan, and is exclusively engaged in what is outlined in its mandate, to ensure its presence, to carry out patrols, with the goal of helping to ensure peace in the region. This is what we’ve always been doing. Any other accusation or slander on engaging in any other activities are absolutely baseless,” he said when asked by Armenpress to comment. 

    Maragos added that all EU member states support the mission. “We are resolutely aiming for strengthening peace and stability in the region,” the EU ambassador said.

    On 12 February 2024 the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Peter Michalko, was summoned to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Azerbaijani foreign ministry accused EUMA of being exploited as an “anti-Azerbaijani propaganda tool,” and becoming an agent of "binoculars diplomacy.”

    Azerbaijani, Armenian Leaders Agree Peace Talks Push

    Feb 17 2024

    ADDS statements from Baku and Yerevan, Blinken-Aliyev talks

    Armenia and Azerbaijan's leaders held direct talks in Munich on Saturday and agreed to push on with peace negotiations, Baku and Yerevan said, after a new spate of tension between the two Caucasus neighbours.

    The bilateral between Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev came after a three-way meeting along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said both sides pledged to resolve differences through peaceful means.

    "The chancellor praised pledges from both sides today, to resolve differences in opinion and open questions exclusively through peaceful means and without the use of force," according to a statement issued by the German chancellery.

    The promises to avoid conflict appeared to be a marked change in tone from Pashinyan's warning on Thursday that Azerbaijan was planning a "full-scale war".

    On Tuesday, both sides accused the other of opening fire on their volatile border, in a skirmish Armenia said left four of its soldiers dead.

    Tensions between the two countries have remained high since Baku re-captured the Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh last September in a lightning military offensive.

    Confirming Saturday's bilateral, the Azerbaijani presidency said the leaders "discussed negotiations on a peace treaty between the two countries, the normalisation of relations, and the issue of border delimitation".

    The ministries of foreign affairs had been tasked with organising followup meetings, it added in a statement.

    Separately, the Armenian government said both sides "agreed to continue work on the peace treaty."

    "The process of regulating Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and steps aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the region were discussed."

    Yerevan is concerned that Azerbaijan, emboldened by its success in Karabakh, could invade Armenian territory in order to create a land bridge to its Nakhchivan enclave.

    Aliyev, who won re-election this month, said in an inauguration speech Wednesday it was Armenia, not Azerbaijan, that had outstanding territorial claims.

    Pashinyan and Aliyev previously said a peace agreement could have been signed by the end of last year, but internationally mediated peace talks have failed to yield a breakthrough.

    In another bilateral meeting in Munich, Pashinyan told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday morning that there had been a "new escalation" with Azerbaijan, in reference to the latest skirmish.

    In separate talks on the same day, Blinken and Aliyev "discussed efforts to achieve a durable peace agreement" between the Caucasus neighbours, said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

    Blinken reiterated US support for "a successful conclusion of those efforts, building on previous negotiations," he added.



    Ukraine’s Zelensky replaces top general Zalushnyi with Syrsky

     21:43, 8 February 2024

    YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 8, ARMENPRESS.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday has appointed commander of the ground forces Oleksandr Syrsky as the country's new army chief.

    "Starting today, a new management team will take over the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Zelensky said. "I appointed Colonel-General Syrsky as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

    In a post on X, Zelensky earlier thanked General Valerii Zaluzhnyi for his two years of service as commander-in-chief and discussed possible replacements for the top military job. “The time for such a renewal is now," Zelensky said.

    Will Armenia file lawsuit against Azerbaijan leader Aliyev under Rome Statute?

    News.am, Armenia
    Feb 6 2024

    When the Armenian authorities ratified the Rome Statute, the main rationalization was that it would make it possible to bring to account those Azerbaijani criminals who have committed crimes against Armenian servicepersons. Has the Armenian government taken steps to bring these Azerbaijanis to account? Opposition MP Artur Khachatryan asked this question of Minister of Justice Grigor Minasyan during Wednesday’s question-and-answer session with the government at the National Assembly of Armenia.

    "For 2-3 months now, specialists in the Ministry of Justice, also together with our colleagues in the office of international legal affairs, have prepared a legislative package, the basis of which is compliance with international standards and the Criminal Procedure Code requirements which will bring us to the right arena of international criminal justice. It will give us the opportunity to use and apply the professional experience of international investigative bodies, to reveal the war crimes," Minasyan responded.

    And to the question whether Armenia will file a lawsuit also against the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, under the Rome Statute, the justice minister responded as follows: "It is the ratification and implementation of such international agreements into the state system that forces both our and future [Armenian] governments to act in accordance with international principles. If the presence of guilt is found, then there will also be accountability within the scope of the [aforesaid Rome] convention."


    Asbarez: Zulal Trio Concert at UC Irvine is Sold Out

    UC Irvine’s Center for Armenian Studies in partnership with Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts and Culture Initiative will host a sold-out concert of Zulal Trio, featuring Teni Apelian, Anais Alexandra Tekerian, and Yeraz Markarian on February 16.

    The event boasts other campus and community partners, including the Orange County Armenian Professional Society.

    The concert at UCI’s Winifred Smith Hall will feature the much-loved Zulal, an a cappella trio, which has performed in such esteemed venues as the Getty Museum, the MET, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Berklee College of Music, and the Kennedy Center and has produced four critically acclaimed albums to its credit.

    In a packed auditorium, Zulal will transform Armenia’s village folk melodies into arrangements that pay tribute to the music’s ancient roots while allowing it new possibilities. Zulal’s celebration of the trials and joys of old Armenian life, from the echoes of loss to the enduring vibrations of dance and celebration promises to be a unique opportunity for the campus and wider community.

    Armenian Studies at UC Irvine includes undergraduate coursework in Armenian history and language, as well as a quarterly lecture series that bridges historical and cultural topics regarding Armenians worldwide.

    Fremont Gold Announces Soil Geochemistry Results from Urasar Mineral District, Armenia

    Feb 5 2024

    Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – February 5, 2024) - Fremont Gold Ltd. (TSXV: FRE) (OTCQB: FRERF) (FSE: FR20) ("Fremont" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the results of the geochemical soil sample survey undertaken at its Urasar property in northern Armenia.

    Urasar geochemical soil sample results

    The Company collected a total of 744 C-horizon soil samples across the Urasar Mineral District in November and December 2023.

    Urasar was last worked by Soviet government teams in the 1950s and 1960s, resulting in the identification of three mineralized zones and four geochemically anomalous zones along a 14 km strike length.

    Gold fire assay and multi-element geochemical results from Fremont's recent soil sampling survey display continuous gold-copper/base metal anomalies hosted in an east-west structure 1.2km wide over a 15 km strike length, as shown in the figures presented below. Gold values ranged up to 449 ppb with a mean of 142 ppb.

    The copper anomalies generally mimic the gold anomalies but display a tighter distribution comprising three distinct populations, consistent with the earlier Soviet work. A continuous, robust copper anomaly greater than 5 km in length is evident in the western portion of the project area, congruent with the largest and strongest gold anomaly. At the far eastern end of the license, the gold geochemistry is comparatively weak while the copper anomaly is quite coherent and robust. Copper values ranged up to 497ppm with a mean of 233 ppm.

    Anomalous arsenic soil geochemistry generally reflects the same distribution as the gold geochemistry but is well developed on the eastern end of the 5-km long Cu-Au anomaly in the western part of the project.

    Initial spatial analysis of the anomalies suggests a continuous mineralized structure over 1 km wide, offset by post-mineral north or northeast-trending faults in step-wise fashion. The disposition of the anomalies suggests a southward displacement of about 1 km between the first and second anomalies, and approximately 2 kms displacement between the second and third anomalies. This distribution is most easily observed in the copper geochemistry image above.

    Fremont's President and CEO, Dennis Moore states, "These soil geochemical results support management's belief that Urasar is a well-endowed mineral district with at least three en echelon mineralized zones. These east-west striking zones are six, four and three kilometers in length with minimum widths of approximately 1.2 kilometers. Detailed geological mapping and trenching are planned for the spring, with diamond drilling following in the summer. We are very excited about these results and believe we are on the cusp of a significant new discovery."

    About Fremont Gold

    Fremont's mine-finding management team has assembled a portfolio of potential world-class copper-gold mineral opportunities within the central Tethyan belt of Armenia, and controls two advanced gold exploration projects in Nevada.

    Qualified person

    The content of this news release was reviewed by Dennis Moore, Fremont's President, CEO and interim Chairman, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors,

    Dennis Moore

    President and CEO, interim Chairman

    For further information, contact:

    Telephone: +351 9250 62196

    Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.