British Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group
Nor Serount Publications
Armenian Genocide Trust
The Number of Members of the
This motion, put by Bob Spink MP, has put the Armenian Genocide issue at the forefront of international issues on which MPs have shown concern.
That the past governments of the UK in recent years have maintained a position of denial in the face of this obvious and self-evident truth is a blemish on the reputation of this country, which was the first to identify and publicise what happened to the Armenians in 1915 as " New Crimes against Humanity and Civilisation" (the precursor of the modern term Genocide). in the Joint Statement of the Allies in May 1915). Most Armenians in the
To continue with the lobbying, a copy of the "House of Commons Conference on the Armenian Genocide" to all MPs this week.It includes contributions by historians and other Genocide Scholars. We expect that this will enable all MPs to have more knowledge of the issue, resulting in more signatures ibefore the summer recess.
The full text of the proceedings of the conference can be downloaded from the following URL http://armenian-genocide.info/24april2007.pdf
The following is an excerpt from the Foreword by The Rt Hon Lord Avebury, PC.
The pogroms of 1894-6 and 1909, in which an estimated 90,000 and 20,000 Armenians were slaughtered, were the preliminary seismic indications of the genocidal eruption of 1915-16. Just as with the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews and Gypsies, there were plenty of warnings of the policy of extermination to come in earlier years, but it took a world war to create the conditions in which a small clique was able to mobilise the resources for the genocide itself.
Under cover of an acknowledged forcible displacement of the entire Armenian population from its ancestral homeland, men, women and children were mass murdered, starved on death marches, or left to die without food or shelter in the burning heat of the deserts. In May 1915 the Allies committed themselves to putting the Ottoman leaders on trial for "Crimes against Humanity", the first occasion this term was ever used. After the Armistice there were indeed some trials at which some of the perpetrators were sentenced in absentia. But then it suited first
The evidence, however, survives. There was the official report laid before Parliament by Lord Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, meticulously documenting hundreds of first-hand testimonies. These have been supplemented by literally thousands of memoirs, diaries, letters, and reports in the archives of The Foreign Office, the US State Department, the German Auswärtiges Amt, and the Ottoman records themselves. The cumulative weight of this evidence amply prove that what happened in 1915-16 was indeed a genocide, intended by the three leaders of Turkey to produce the destruction of a people. Yet today, despite the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide together with the Holocaust and the Rwanda Genocide, the British Governments refuses to use the G word, pretending that the events of 1915-16 cannot be formally proved to constitute a genocide as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide.
It is really unfortunate that Britain, which played such a crucial role in exposing the atrocities of 1915-16 at the time, is now lagging behind others in recognising what happened by its proper name. On 24 April 2007, the anniversary of the day in 1915 when the leading Armenian intellectuals in Turkey were arrested in preparation for their exile and murder, a definitive meeting to examine the evidence was convened in the Grand Committee Room of the Palace of Westminster. Many MPs attended, and an even larger number signed Early Day Motion 357 urging the government to change its policy and recognise the Genocide
Not only will such a change assist to rectify a historical injustice but it could help to facilitate