USAN PRESS RELEASE

March 31, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: YesWeCan[AT]usazeris.org

NEVADA GOVERNOR PROCLAMATION OF MARCH 31: FIRST-EVER OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION, DESIGNATION OF MARCH 31 AS “REMEMBERANCE DAY” OF THE 1918 MASSACRES OF AZERBAIJANI CIVILIANS

To commemorate March 31, the “Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis”, which is officially observed in Azerbaijan since 1919 from the days of the first Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), activists from USAN have sought and received the first-ever formal recognition of this special date and the tragedy by any U.S. government authority. The crucial outreach and coordination efforts were spearheaded and led by a USAN activist based in the great State of Nevada, Dr. Bob Guney.

The Governor of Nevada, Mr. Jim Gibbons, and his office, after a thorough check of all the facts, have issued an official proclamation (full text and scan of the proclamation included with this PR), which commemorates the “deaths of tens of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians”, victims of the genocidal policy pursued by Armenian forces during the “March Massacres” of 1918 in Baku and other cities of Azerbaijan. The proclamation by the Nevada Governor also emphasizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan by stipulating that the Karabakh region is a U.S.-recognized part of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

This state proclamation marks the first-ever time that any high-ranking U.S. elected official has formally and officially acknowledged the Azerbaijani suffering in the past century and designated March 31 as the Azerbaijani Rememberance Day. As such, the Azerbaijani-American and Turkic-American community make an important step forward in having the terrible plight of their ancestors to be properly recognized and acknowledged.

Previously, over the years, the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) and its grassroots activists have sought and received dozens of proclamations from Governors and Mayors across the United States (Washington D.C., State of Virginia, City of Alexandria, Country of Arlington, City of Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania, State of Wisconsin, State of North Carolina, as well as Texas, California, Missouri and others) on the National Day of Azerbaijan (May 28) and Independence Day of Azerbaijan (October 18), which have always stressed the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by specifically mentioning the Armenia-occupied Karabakh region.

To promote greater knowledge and understanding of the March 1918 events, the USAN and its activists have co-sponsored, in conjunction with the Anglo-Caspian Press based in the UK, the re-publication and subsequent distribution to the leading public libraries, of the 1951 edition of the Yale University History Professor Emeritus Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh’s book “Struggle for Transcaucasia (1917-1921)” (London: Anglo-Caspian Press, 2008, 440 pp). http://www.amazon.co.uk/Struggle-Transcaucasia-1917-1921-Firuz-Kazemzadeh/dp/0956000401

The book was distributed to all the participants at the USAN conference in Washington DC in October 2008, as well as in Azerbaijani and Turkic diaspora conferences and events in Los Angeles and Houston.

USAN expects this latest result of diligent work and grassroots activism will become a positive example for an even larger number of Azerbaijani-American and Turkic-American grassroots, who will seek and receive an increasing number of proclamations from their cities and states. USAN stands ready to help facilitate and coordinate such efforts by the community.

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The U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) <http://www.usazeris.org/> is a registered non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian genuine grassroots advocacy and voter education network that is facilitating political activism and efforts by the Azerbaijani-Americans and other Turkic-Americans and their associations, organizations, councils, conferences, and other formal, semi-formal and informal groups, on federal, state and local levels. USAN is the first nationwide grassroots organization uniting Azerbaijani-Americans, being created by the grassroots, for the grassroots.

USAN PR#3-5-2009

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FULL TEXT OF THE PROCLAMATION and SCAN OF THE PROCLAMATION
STATE OF NEVADA
[The Great Seal of the State of Nevada]
A  PROCLAMATION  BY THE GOVERNOR

WHEREAS, the Republic of Azerbaijan has an area of 33,440 square miles, including the Karabakh region, situated in the South Caucasus region, southeastern Europe; and

WHEREAS, the territorial integrity, state sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan is supported by the United States and its citizens; and

WHEREAS, in March 1918, ethnic and religious tensions grew and the Armenian-Azeri conflict in Baku began; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the conflict, the region suffered thousands of casualties in Baku, Shemakha, Guba, Shusha, including the deaths of tens of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians; and

WHEREAS, every year since 1918, Azerbaijanis and many people around the globe, observe March 31 as a Day of Remembrance, to honor the victims resulting from the fighting that began in March 1918; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIM GIBBONS, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2009 as

AZERBAIJANI REMEMBRANCE DAY

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Nevada to be affixed at the State Capitol in Carson City, this 31st day of March, 2009.

[signed] Jim Gibbons – Governor
[signed] Ross Miller – Secretary of State
[signed] Sallie Lincoln – Deputy

SCAN OF THE PROCLAMATION
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Some helpful background materials, memos, quotes and reports:

http://www.USAzeris.org/index-2.html
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Decree_of_President_of_Republic_of_Azerbaijan_about_genocide_of_Azerbaijani_people
http://www.khazar.org/jas/text/history.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqxKk5NY7SA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64S29NUyDY&feature=related
http://www.ilw.com/weekly/editorial/2005,1024-ice.pdf
http://usdcdata.com/CACD/2/2004/cv00515.Patatanyan_v._Ashcroft_et_al/DS_1_04005151.html

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If you would like more information, please visit http://www.USAzeris.org or email us at contact[AT]usazeris.org

USAN PR#3-5-2009