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07 July 2017

Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, founder of Churches in Action and a leader of the Los Angeles Interfaith Council, has urged Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to fiercely condemn the Armenian army`s killing of a woman and her toddler in Alkhanli village of Fuzuli region, Azerbaijan.

In his letter to the Armenian leader, Mendez said that “as the US people were celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day, a two-year-old Azerbaijani girl named Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother Sahiba Guliyeva were brutally killed, when Armenia’s armed forces targeted and shelled their house”.

He said that “the continued occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory by Armenia has been a major factor behind the ongoing suffering of not only hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees, who were expelled from their homes and stripped of everything they had; but this invasion and occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands by the Republic of Armenia has also caused much suffering to the Armenian people.”

Mendez cited Bible which tells “Do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:7). “Killing innocent civilians does not only constitute a flagrant violation of all international legal norms, it also violates the very principles of Christianity,” the bishop said.

Mendez urged Sargsyan to fiercely condemn this terrible crime and do his best to locate and punish all those who are responsible for this heinous murder.