On the 24th of April, the world commemorated the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
This year the conventional forms of commemoration had to be cancelled because of the global health situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the Armenian communities across the globe organized various forms of virtual commemoration and reminded of their demands which have not changed. These demands are the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, just reparations for the damage caused and criminalization of the denial of the Armenian Genocide.
On this occasion the executive director of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) Heghine Evinyan stated: “The Turkish society needs the recognition of the Armenian Genocide at least as much as the Armenians need it.” She added that the reparations are essential for global justice and can function as a deep transformative process. The entire statement here
EAFJD president Kaspar Karampetian called on the international community to urge Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and provide just reparations. He also highlighted the essential role played thus far by the Armenian diaspora in the international recognition of the Genocide . Watch his statement here. (in Armenian).
European leaders commemorate the Armenian Genocide
This year the Armenian Genocide was widely commemorated in Europe, including by head of EU Member States and a large number of European political figures.
On April 24, the French President Emmanuel Macron commemorated the Genocide and expressed his support to those who are struggling for justice. See his tweet here (in French)
The Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis here and the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades here also officially paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and called for an international recognition.
Belgian friendship groups with Artsakh send congratulatory letters to Artsakh President-elect
The Belgian French-speaking friendship circle with Artsakh and the Artsakh friendship group of Dutch-speaking Belgian parliamentarians congratulated the newly elected members of the National Assembly of Artsakh and Arayik Harutyunyan, the President-elect of the Republic of Artsakh.
Both Friendship groups praised the commitment to democracy of the people of Artsakh and emphasized the crucial necessity of the participation of the elected Artsakh representatives in the negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
They also stressed their willingness to maintain the same level of cooperation with the newly elected representatives of the Republic of Artsakh.
The people of Artsakh elected their new President
On 31 March and 14 April 2020, the people of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) reaffirmed their commitment to building a democratic society, by exercising their right to vote during the presidential and parliamentary elections. Five different political parties gained seats in the National Assembly, and Arayik Harutyunyan, the former Prime Minister, was elected the next President of the Artsakh Republic.
The EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian has extended his congratulations to Arayik Harutyunyan on his election and reaffirmed the Federation’s unconditional support for the people of Artsakh. “I am confident that the established high level of successful and fruitful cooperation of the EAFJD, its chapters across Europe with the authorities of Artsakh will continue also with the newly elected government”, said Karampetian. Read more here
The statement of the EEAS discourages a democratic way of organizing a society
On March 31 the Spokesperson of the EEAS (European External Action Service) had published an unfavorable statement about holding elections in Artsakh.
In an open letter sent to Commissioner Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission, the EAFJD expressed its disappointment and deep discontentment with this statement which sends a signal that the political status of a country is a prerequisite for enjoying universal human rights. In fact, international law does not recognize any limitation over human rights of individuals or groups based on the status of the country of their residence.
Read EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian’s open letter to the EEAS here .
The Armenian Genocide in the spotlight of European newspapers
During the month of April some of the most prominent European media outlets published articles on the Armenian Genocide.
Euronews made a report about the official commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan despite the general lockdown and the state of emergency. Watch the report here (In French).
In Belgium, the French-speaking LaLibre.be published an article with the title "Le génocide arménien et le tabou turc en 7 questions” read it here (in French), and the Flemish newspaper Doorbraak published an article both on the Armenian Genocide and Nagorno Karabakh conflict entitled “Geesten van de Armeense genocide: Het bevroren conflict in Nagorno-Karabach”, read it here (In Dutch).
In the Czech Republic, a detailed report was published by the public tv CT24 with the title "Vyvražďování Arménů začalo před 105 lety, během první moderní genocidy zemřelo přes 1,5 milionu lidí", read it here (In Czech).
In France, the President of the French EAFJD chapter (CDCA) wrote an article in Journal De Dimanche entitled "Commémorations du Génocide arménien annulées: 24 avril, la douleur du confinement" read it here (in French) , while the Co-presidents of the Armenian community representative body (CCAF) published an article in Le Figaro: "105 ans après le génocide arménien, la Turquie d’Erdogan continue de représenter une menace" read it here (in French).
In Germany, Taz.ge published an article entitled: “Vor 105 Jahren begann der angeordnete Massenmord an Armenierinnen im Osmanischen Reich”. Read it here (in German).
The National Geographic prepared an article about the Capital of Medieval Armenia the city of Ani with the title “This abandoned site was once the 'City of 1,001 Churches” read it here.
In Poland, the VOD TV channel and Wiez media produced a documentary film on the topic of the Armenian Genocide with the title “Ludobojstwo Ormian”. Watch it here (in Polish)
The European Armenians show exceptional solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the current health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Armenian communities of Europe have been actively showing solidarity and providing help.
In Belgium for instance hundreds of bags filled with essential supplies and food were donated to families in need, In Greece 160 blood bags were collected and donated to Greek hospitals. In France thousands of Cheureks (Armenian cake) were provided to the health professionals who are working non-stop to save lives.The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) is an umbrella organization with chapters in 14 European countries and represents a significant part of the Armenian diaspora in Europe.