Events and News

Invitation to the 105th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Zoom meeting on April 24, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Posted on April 24, 2020 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (584)

Dear Armenians and friends in Alberta

On the occasion of the 105th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, we invite you to join a scheduled Zoom online meeting:

Topic: Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան 105 Ամյակ, Armenian Genocide Remembrance day, April 24th, 2020.

Time: Apr 24, 2020 08:00 PM Edmonton

 

Please check your emails for details.

 

 

JOIN OUR CLOUD HD VIDEO MEETING NOW

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video an...


103rd Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Edmonton on April 21 at 12:00pm

Posted on April 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (108)


Dear Armenians and friends,

On the occasion of the 103rd commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, we invite you to join fellow Armenians and supporters to lay flowers at the City Hall Cenotaph in Churchill Square in Edmonton, at 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 21, 2018. We will gather near Tix on the Square and start a march to the monument.

Please bring flowers for the ceremony.

This annual event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of Edmonton and Area and St. Narek Church of Edmonton.





Armenian Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Edmonton on April 23, 2017

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (98)

Dear Armenians and friends,

On the occasion of the 102th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we invite you to join fellow Armenians and supporters to lay flowers at the City Hall Cenotaph in Churchill Square in Edmonton, at 1 pm on Sunday, April 23, 2017. We will gather near Tix on the Square and start a march to the monument.

Please bring flowers for the ceremony.

Please join Armenian Community to see the movie "The Promise" after the ceremony.

This annual event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of Edmonton and Area and St. Narek Church of Edmonton.


Armenian community in Edmonton on CBC news!

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (282)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Armenian Genocide commemoration in Edmonton on Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Posted on April 22, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (5)

Dear Armenians and friends,

 

On the occasion of the 101th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we invite you to join fellow Armenians and supporters to lay flowers at the City Hall Cenotaph in Churchill Square in Edmonton, at 1 pm on Sunday, April 24, 2016. We will gather near Tix on the Square and start a march to the monument. We will also observe a minute of silence to honoure our latest heroes who lost their lives defending ARTSAKH..

Please bring flowres for the ceremony.

This annual event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Armenian Educational and Cultural Association of Edmonton and Area and St. Narek Church of Edmonton.

Armenian Genocide stone placed in the Memorial garden, Edmonton

Posted on July 21, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (79)

On July 19, Unitarian Chaplain Rev. Audrey Brooks hosted the 7th annual genocide memorial. Speakers from various communities gathered to reflect on the horrors inflicted by human beings. Dr.  Sona Grigoryan raised concerns on Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide. Along with members of the Armenian community, she placed a large stone in the Memorial garden honouring those murdered in the Armenian Holocaust .-  by  Dr. Junaid Jahangir, Edmonton AB

 


Special Commemoration Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)
Dear Armenian community members,
 
We are pleased to announce that we have organized a special  commemoration mass with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, to be held at Saint Joseph’s Basilica on 10044 – 113 Street, on Sunday May 10th, 2015.
The mass begins at 10:00 am and concludes by the end of the hour. It will be presided by Archbishop Richard Smith, accompanied by our Primate Abkar Hovakimian, who is visiting Edmonton, especially for this commemoration.
The Basilica choir will perform Sourb Sourb and Der Voghormia, six front row naves have been reserved for our community, being punctual will be greatly appreciated.
A brief message will be conveyed on behalf of the community and a sermon from our Primate, to conclude the mass.
Following the mass we will gather at the Parish Hall of Saint Joseph’s Basilica, provided for us with the compliments of the Archdiocese.


We look forward to seeing you there.

Armenian Community in Edmonton and Saint Narek Parish Council

Armenian Community in Edmonton Commemorates the 100 Years of the Armenian Genocide

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)


On April 25, 2015 the Armenian community in Edmonton commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The cerevmony started by laying a wreath at the War memorial in Churchil square followed by a gathering at the library, were community members shared family stories.

Russian community in Edmonton also organized a memorial mass at the St. Barbara Catherdral, were 100 candles were lit to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian community thanks Alexandre Voloboev and Olga Prokhorova and Alberta Interscience Association for their support in organizing this event!



Edmonton Journal April 24, 2015

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (92)

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Armenian+Community+commemorates+100th+anniversary+genocide/11002093/story.ht

Armenian Community commemorates 100th anniversary of genocide

EDMONTON - The Armenian community in Edmonton is commemorating the 100th anniversary of what Pope Francis and Ottawa calls a genocide that resulted in the deaths of millions of Armenians.

Lilit Vardanyan, an organizer of the event, remembers the vivid stories of her grandfather and grandmother who were deported from Ottoman-era Turkey in 1915, at the ages of six and 17. Along with many other deportees, they were forced to walk across the barren desert to what is now the west border of Armenia, many dying along the way.

Her grandmother, “remembers her cousin carrying her, along with all the other deportees,” Vardanyan said. “The most vivid recollection she has is the smell as they walked past burning buildings.”

Using the word genocide to describe the event is controversial because it describes an intentional and wide-scale attempt to kill off an entire ethnic group.

The Turkish government denies that there was a planned genocide. Many countries, such as the United Kingdom, back its position. While Canada officially recognizes the 1915 Armenian slayings as genocide, other countries are careful not to use the term as it may strain their relations with Turkey.

Participants will meet Saturday at Winston Churchill Square at 1 p.m. and lay a wreath, made of purple forget-me-nots, at the Edmonton Cenotaph. Afterwards the group will meet at the Stanley A. Milner Library to share stories about the history of their families and engage in other cultural activities.

Vardanyan said the wreath is based on the one laid Friday in Yerevan, Armenia, during a commemoration ceremony.



Edmonton Sun, April 25, 2015

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (60)

Edmonton Sun, April 25, 2015
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/04/25/dozens-hold-vigil-in-edmonton-to-commemorate-armenian-genocide

Armenian genocide vigil

Much of Edmonton’s small Armenian community came out for a vigil at Churchill Square Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide.

Roughly three dozen people marched across the square and laid a wreath in commemoration of the mass killing at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

“Armenians all around the world, they have to remember the day, because this is the only way they can remember their ancestors, their great-grandparents who died during the genocide,” said co-organizer Anna Ketikyan, whose grandfather was a victim.

Surviving family members found it too painful to speak of the atrocities to Ketikyan when she was growing up.

She choked back tears as she remembered finding out for herself.

“When I watched the movies, it was really bad to see how people were tortured. And I’m ready to do everything for my kids, for my generation, to know the truth about this ... Somehow, in a very little way, they need to know what happened.”

Ketikyan is eternally grateful to Canada for taking her in but still misses her family in Armenia.

To this day, the mass killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians has not been recognized as a genocide by Turkey or several other countries, including the United States. The genocide has been acknowledged by Canada, the United Nations and more than 20 other countries.

“I don’t know how it is possible to heal the wound,” Ketikyan said.

“It’s the territory, it’s the soul of the nation there.”

kevin.maimann@sunmedia.ca

Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Edmonton

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (153)
Dear Armenians and friends,


On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we invite you to join fellow Armenians and supporters to lay flowers at the City Hall Cenotaph in Churchill Square in Edmonton, at 1 pm on Saturday, April 25, 2015. This will be followed by an official ceremony and light reception at the Stanley Milner Library at 1:30 pm, in room 7 (6th floor).

The official ceremony will include music, poetry, oral presentations and family stories about the genocide. Guests who wish to share their family story will have the opportunity to do so. We ask that each story be kept to 3 minutes in length.

Please bring one battery-operated tea light candle for the ceremony.

This annual event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Armenian Association of Alberta, Edmonton branch (commonly known as the Armenian Community in Edmonton) and the St. Narek Church.

Map / Carte

https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Sir+Winston+Churchill+Square,+Edmonton,+AB+T5J/@53.5456092,-113.490051,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x53a0224f85d63fab:0xfdfc5946d4de57d2

Links / Liens

http://genocidecentennial.ca/

http://www.armeniancommunityinedmonton.com/



Chers Arméniens et amis,


À l’occasion du centenaire du génocide Arménien, vous êtes invités à déposer des fleurs au cénotaphe d’Edmonton à Churchill Square, le samedi 25 avril 2015 à 13h. Une cérémonie officielle et un goûter léger suivront, à la salle 7 de la bibliothèque Stanley Milner (au 6e étage) à 13h30.

La cérémonie officielle inclura des présentations et des histoires de famille par rapport au génocide, de la poésie et de la musique. Ceux et celles qui désirent partager leur histoire de famille auront la chance de le faire. On demanderait que chaque présentation soit limitée à environ 3 minutes. 

SVP amenez un lampion à piles pour la cérémonie.

Cette commémoration annuelle est organisée par le comité local du Centenaire du Génocide des Arméniens, en collaboration avec l’Association arménienne de l’Alberta- Edmonton et l’église arménienne St. Narek.

The Saints of Genocide

Posted on April 16, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (59)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

ապրիլի 23-ի սրբադասման արարողությանն ընդառաջ

Ովքեր, երբ և ինչպես որոշեցին սրբադասել 1915-ի զոհերին. մոտ 400 տարի շարունակ սրբադասում չկատարած հայ եկեղեցու ծիսակարգը և արարողակարգը ճշտելու ընթացքի մասին տեսանյութ է պատրաստել Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիո կաթողիկոսարանի լսատեսողական բաժինը: 23 Ապրիլ 2015-ին Սուրբ Էջմիածնի մէջ Հայ եկեղեցին իր սուրբերու շարքին պիտի դասէ Հայոց ցեղասպանութեան անմեղ զոհերն ու նահատակները, համանախագահութեամբ Ն.Ս.Օ.Տ.Տ...

Pope Holds Centennial Mass, Condemns Genocide Denial (Video)

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (199)


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Pope Francis held Solemn Mass for the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide today, during which he remembered “the first genocide of the 20th century,” spoke about the consequences of forgetting and denial, and proclaimed the Armenian Saint Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church. Catholicoi Karekin II and Aram I, along with Patriarch Catholicos Nerses Bedros XIX, arrived at the Basilica of Saint Peter with Pope Francis. Armenian President Serge Sarkisian was also present at the Holy Mass.

Pope Francis held Solemn Mass for the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

Pope Francis holds a Solemn Mass for the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

In his powerful remarks, Pope Francis spoke about three major tragedies of the past century: “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Greeks,”said Pope Francis. “Bishops and priests, religious, women and men, the elderly, and even defenseless children and the infirm were murdered. The remaining two were perpetrated by

In strong terms, Pope Francis condemned the failure to remember and the act of denial, which he said only kept wounds festering and bleeding. “Dear Armenian Christians, today, with hearts filled with pain but at the same time with great hope in the risen Lord, we recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure,” he said, stressing, “It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!”

Dear Armenian Christians, today, with hearts filled with pain but at the same time with great hope in the risen Lord, we recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure. It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!

Pope Francis lamented that the “enthusiasm” for preventing genocides created after World War II was “dissipating,” as evidenced by inaction in the face of today’s atrocities.

“It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, so that today too there are those who attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few and with the complicit silence of others who simply stand by. We have not yet learned that ‘war is madness,’ ‘senseless slaughter,’” said Pope Francis.

“In the firm certainty that evil never comes from God, who is infinitely good, and standing firm in faith, let us profess that cruelty may never be considered God’s work and, what is more, can find absolutely no justification in his Holy Name,” Pope Francis added.

At the end of the Mass, His Holiness Karekin II, His Holiness Aram I, and His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX offered their remarks. Throughout the Mass, Armenian Church hymns were sung.

The English translation of the Pope’s remarks, as published by Vatican Radio, is below.

***

Greeting of the Holy Father

Mass for the Faithful of the Armenian Rite

April 12, 2015

On a number of occasions I have spoken of our time as a time of war, a third world war which is being fought piecemeal, one in which we daily witness savage crimes, brutal massacres and senseless destruction. Sadly, today too we hear the muffled and forgotten cry of so many of our defenseless brothers and sisters who, on account of their faith in Christ or their ethnic origin, are publicly and ruthlessly put to death—decapitated, crucified, burned alive—or forced to leave their homeland.

Today too we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by general and collective indifference, by the complicit silence of Cain, who cries out: “What does it matter to me? Am I my brother’s keeper?” (cf. Gen 4:9; Homily in Redipuglia, Sept. 13, 2014).

In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered “the first genocide of the 20th century” (JOHN PAUL II and KAREKIN II, Common Declaration, Etchmiadzin, Sept. 27, 2001), struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Greeks. Bishops and priests, religious, women and men, the elderly, and even defenseless children and the infirm were murdered. The remaining two were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. And more recently there have been other mass killings, like those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi, and Bosnia. It seems that humanity is incapable of putting a halt to the shedding of innocent blood. It seems that the enthusiasm generated at the end of the Second World War has dissipated and is now disappearing. It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, so that today too there are those who attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few and with the complicit silence of others who simply stand by. We have not yet learned that “war is madness,” “senseless slaughter” (cf. Homily in Redipuglia, Sept. 13, 2014).

Dear Armenian Christians, today, with hearts filled with pain but at the same time with great hope in the risen Lord, we recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure. It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!

I greet you with affection and I thank you for your witness.

With gratitude for his presence, I greet Mr. Serge Sarkisian, the President of the Republic of Armenia.

My cordial greeting goes also to my brother Patriarchs and Bishops: His Holiness Kerekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics; and Catholicosates of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Patriarchate of the Armenian Catholic Church.

In the firm certainty that evil never comes from God, who is infinitely good, and standing firm in faith, let us profess that cruelty may never be considered God’s work and, what is more, can find absolutely no justification in his Holy Name. Let us continue this celebration by fixing our gaze on Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, victor over death and evil!

 

 

 

Pope Francis Calls Slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey Genocide

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (74)
Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 11.30.18 AM

Pope Francis conducting Holy Mass for the faithful of Armenian Rite.

Pope Francis led a Holy Mass for the faithful of Armenian Rite at the Vatican on April 12. During the mass, Pope Francis said that the slaughter of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the first genocide of the 20th Century.

“In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people,” the pontiff said during the mass.

“It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, so that today too there are those who attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few and with the complicit silence of others who simply stand by,” he continued.

According to the Associated Press, Turkey’s embassy to the Holy See canceled a planned news conference for Sunday, presumably after learning that the pope would utter the word “genocide” over its objections.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and His Beautitude Nerses Bedros XIX, Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics took part in the Holy Mass.

Armenian Church hymns were sung during the entirety of the mass, with the traditional Armenian duduk making its first ever appearance in St. Peter’s Basilica. At the end of the Mass, a requiem was held for the souls of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the genocide led by His Beautitude Nerses Bedros XIX, His Holiness Karekin II and His Holiness Aram I. All three Armenian Church leaders made concluding speeches.

His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians was the first to offer his remarks at the end of the Papal Mass. He said that the centuries-old friendship of the two churches was significant and thanked Pope Francis for his solidarity in brotherhood. He said that humanity was not able to stop the Armenian Genocide nor condemn it, and as a result had to bear witness to more genocides. His Holiness went on to say that in this 100th year, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, its condemnation and restitution is an imperative for the world.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia also offered his remarks. “In fact, the Armenian Genocide is an unforgettable and undeniable fact of history, deeply rooted in the annals of modern history and in the common consciousness of the Armenian people, therefore any attempt to erase it from history and our common memory is doomed to fail. In fact in 1915, 1.5 million Armenians were victims of a genocide carefully planned and systematically executed by the Ottoman Empire of the time. Not only did we lose 1.5 million Armenians, but thousands of Armenian monasteries, churches, community centers, objects of spiritual and cultural immense value were destroyed, lost or confiscated. They still remain confiscated, including the Armenian Catholicosate in Sis. We cannot forget this first genocide of the 20th century this crime against humanity. Your Holiness, according to international law, genocide is a crime against humanity and international sets out clearly that condemnation, recognition and reparation of genocide are closely linked. The Armenian cause is a cause of justice and as we well know, justice is not human made, it’s a gift of God, therefore the violation of justice is a sin against God. On the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, our martyrs today challenge us to reaffirm our commitment to justice and human dignity and human rights.” His Holiness went on to say that during the Genocide, Pope Benedict XV made countless calls to halt the atrocities being realized against the Armenian nation. “We never forget the continuous assistance and solidarity of the Church towards the Armenians, that is to say towards justice.”

His Beautitude Nerses Bedros XIX addressed the congregation in Italian. He said that at the conclusion of this emotional Papal Mass, where St. Gregory of Narek was proclaimed as Doctor of the Church, “all of us present, in particular the Armenian faithful, are full of gratitude.” All those who have read the pages of Narek, he said, will be filled with the spirit and soul of Narek, who lived and worked in the 10th century. He said that the Armenians were victims of the Genocide because of their Christian faith.

During the Papal Mass, St. Gregory of Narek, a 10th century Armenian mystic was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis, a title bestowed on only 35 other people. It is reserved for those who have ‘greatly served the universal church.’

 

Edmonton Ceremony of the Commemoration of the 100 years of the Armenian Genocide

Posted on April 7, 2015 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (78)

--UN MESSAGE EN FRANÇAIS SUIVRA--

 

Dear Armenians and friends,

 

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we invite you to join fellow Armenians and supporters to lay flowers at the City Hall Cenotaph in Churchill Square in Edmonton, at 1 pm on Saturday, April 25, 2015. This will be followed by an official ceremony and light reception at the Stanley Milner Library at 1:30 pm, in room 7 (6th floor).

 

The official ceremony will include music, poetry, oral presentations and family stories about the genocide. Guests who wish to share their family story will have the opportunity to do so. We ask that each story be kept to 3 minutes in length.

 

Please bring one battery-operated tea light candle for the ceremony.

 

This annual event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Armenian Association of Alberta, Edmonton branch (commonly known as the Armenian Community in Edmonton) and the St. Narek Church.

 

Map / Carte

 

https://www.google.ca/…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x53a0224f8…;

 

Links / Liens

 

http://genocidecentennial.ca/

http://www.armeniancommunityinedmonton.com/

 

Chers Arméniens et amis,

 

À l’occasion du centenaire du génocide Arménien, vous êtes invités à déposer des fleurs au cénotaphe d’Edmonton à Churchill Square, le samedi 25 avril 2015 à 13h. Une cérémonie officielle et un goûter léger suivront, à la salle 7 de la bibliothèque Stanley Milner (au 6e étage) à 13h30.

 

La cérémonie officielle inclura des présentations et des histoires de famille par rapport au génocide, de la poésie et de la musique. Ceux et celles qui désirent partager leur histoire de famille auront la chance de le faire. On demanderait que chaque présentation soit limitée à environ 3 minutes.

 

SVP amenez un lampion à piles pour la cérémonie.

 

Cette commémoration annuelle est organisée par le comité local du Centenaire du Génocide des Arméniens, en collaboration avec l’Association arménienne de l’Alberta- Edmonton et l’église arménienne St. Narek.


 

Cyprus Criminalizes Denial Of Armenian Genocide

Posted on April 2, 2015 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (78)

Cyprus Criminalizes Denial Of Armenian Genocide -

Azatutyun - In a move hailed by Armenia, Cyprus enacted on Thursdaya law making it a crime to publicly deny the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

A bill unanimously passed by the Cypriot parliament made corresponding changes in the country’s existing legislation dealing with denial of crimes against humanity. Until now it required prior rulings by international courts.

“Today is a historic day,” the parliament speaker, Yiannakis Omirou, said, according to the Reuters news agency. “It allows parliament to restore, with unanimous decisions and resolutions, historical truths.”

The east Mediterranean island, partly occupied by Turkey since 1974, was one of the first countries worldwide in 1975 to recognize as genocide the World War One-era slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is one of the world leaders expected to attend the April 24 commemorations in Yerevan of the 100th anniversary
of the genocide.

Predictably, Armenia was quick to commend the Greek Cypriots for criminalizing genocide denial. “This is a symbolic event coming on the eve of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in a written statement.

“With the passage of this bill Cyprus has made an important contribution to the noble task of preventing genocides and crimes against humanity,” added Nalbandian.

The passage of the Cypriot bill coincided with a visit to Nicosia by an Armenian parliamentary delegation headed by speaker Galust Sahakian. The latter was due to meet with Omirou on Thursday.

There was no immediate reaction to the development from Ankara.

Official Yerevan reacted just as positively to the passage in recent years of similar bills by the parliaments of Switzerland, Slovakia and Greece. The French parliament also criminalized Armenian genocide denial in 2012. However, France’s highest court subsequently declared the move unconstitutional, citing French legislation guaranteeing freedom of speech.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) cited similar grounds when it struck down in 2013 a Swiss court ruling against a Turkish politician who branded the Armenian genocide an “international lie” during a lecture tour in Switzerland.

The Swiss government responded by appealing against the ECHR verdict. The Strasbourg-based court’s Grand Chamber opened hearings on the appeal, strongly backed by the Armenian government, in January.


google9134e2c1d1ce5cd0.html