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 ANC UK Newsletter April 2024

1. 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
2. The winner of the competition for “Your Story of Genocide” essay
3. Write to your MP campaign: UK must recognise the Armenian Genocide
4. Prominent British Church Leaders and Members of the House of Lords urged UK Prime Minister to recognise the Armenian Genocide
5. Campaign: Free the Armenian political prisoners NOW!

6. UK Parliamentarians raising the issues of Armenia and Artsakh
7. News articles and recent developments
Tavush and Demarcation and Delimitation of Armenian Borders & ANC UK’s statement

April 24 marks the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide #NeverAgainIsHappeningAgain

Informative video

1. 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ealing Green

On Saturday 20 April the commemoration of the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Armenian Genocide Memorial “The Eternal Flame” in Ealing Green took place, organised by the Armenian National Committee of UK (ANC-UK) and the Armenian Community Council of UK.

The event was attended by Councillor Peter Mason – Leader of Ealing Council, Mayor Hitesh Tailor, and all of the Ealing MPs: Rupa Huq (MP for Ealing Central and Acton), James Murray (MP for Ealing North & Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury), Ruth Cadbury (MP for Brentford and Isleworth) and Virendra Sharma (MP for Southall); and Councillor Bassam Mahfouz.

Raffi Kilian made the opening remarks, while Armen Bodossian delivered the speech from ANC-UK after the speeches by Mr Tarverdian from ACC, Ambassador Nersesyan and His Grace Bishop Hovakim.

The staunch support from Labour MPs present needs to be translated into the Armenian Genocide recognition, if a Labour Party government is formed at this year’s general elections.

UK parlamentarians commemorate the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Cenotaph

UK Parlamentarians paid their respects and commemorated the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Cenotaph on April 24.

The event organised by the Armenian National Committee of UK (ANC-UK) was attended by Tim Loughton (Chair of APPG for Armenia), Giles Watling Cons (Conservative), Feryal Clark (Labour), Jessica Morden (Labour), Martyn Day (SNP), Carol Monaghan (SNP), Baroness Cox (Peer), Sammy Wilson (DUP), Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymu), John Spellar (Labour), Father David Thomas, Representative from HART Foundation, Representative from National Federation of Cypriots, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, the Armenian Community Council of UK and community members. The Armenian community members also attended this event.

All parliamentarians present stressed that the UK should recognise the Armenian Genocide and many of their colleagues support this.

Andre Vartanian delivered a speech on behalf of the ANC-UK.

Tim Loughton MP, made a statement as Chair of the APPG for Armenia, on the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide:

“On April 24, 1915, around 600 Armenians were arrested and killed in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, by order of the government. This event marked the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, during which three-quarters of the Armenian population of that time was killed. The international community did not react.

A few months ago, Azerbaijan forcibly deported 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian people have in fact survived both the first genocide of the 20th century and the first ethnic cleansing of the 21st century

In commemoration of the Armenian Genocide 109 years ago, I remembered those affected with fellow Parliamentarians, members of the APPG and the Armenian community in the UK”.

Watch the video here.

After the wreath laying ceremony representatives from the Armenian Community Council of UK (ACCUK) and the Armenian National Committee of UK (ANC-UK) delivered a letter to the Prime Minister at Number 10 asking for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Stephen Doughty MP, Shadow Minister for Europe, North America & UK Overseas Territories, on the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide made the following statement:

“My thoughts are with all Armenians as they mark the horrific events of 1915 this week. Armenians suffered appalling and reprehensible atrocities in the early 20th century. Labour continues to stand with Armenians in recognising these historic terrible acts against them”.

March for Justice in UK

The large number of the Armenian community marched on 27 of April from Marble Arch to the Cenotaph.

The Armenian community of UK march for justice on the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Video of the march

2. The winner of the competition for “Your Story of Genocide” essay

The winner of the Competition “Your Story of Genocide” Orson Gulvanessian from Armenian Language Saturday School was announced and he read the story of his family during the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Orsen (9), and the other runner up Amelie (13) & Raphael (9) Berberian Tuladhar will be taken to Westminster for a tour of the Parliament as a prize.

Click below on each image to read the complete stories.

3. Write to your MP campaign: UK must recognise the Armenian Genocide

For the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, ANC-UK launched a “write to your MP campaign” for UK to recognition the Armenian Genocide.

Write to your MP to support the UK recognition of Armenian Genocide. It takes only 2 minutes. The more people write more MPs will be persuaded to write to the Foreign Secretary.

Who can write? Anyone in the UK living in a constituency.

The letter is ready, just click the link below, the system will find your MP and you can send the pre-written letter.

The more people write, the more awareness is raised for this issue.

Some of those who have written, have shared their MP’s responses. Please email your MP’s response to us and we can provide more information on what you can do next.

Take action and write to your MP

4. Prominent British Church Leaders and Members of the House of Lords urged UK Prime Minister to recognise the Armenian Genocide

Bishop Hovakim and prominent British Church Leaders and Members of the House of Lords sent a letter to British Prime Minister Sunak on 24th April, urging his government to formally recognise the Armenian Genocide.

The letter is signed by: Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Rowan Williams, David Alton, Baroness Caroline Cox, Archbishop Angaelos, Archbishop Athanasius Toma, Archbishop Abraham Mar Stephanos, Father Mark Woodruff, Christopher Chessun, Christopher Cocksworth, David Walker, Graham Tomlin, Bishop Mike Royal, Reverend Canon Helen Cameron and Dr Nicola Brady.

The complete letter

5. Campaign: Free the Armenian political prisoners NOW!

Unjust peace IS NOT PEACE! Free the Armenian political prisoners in Azerbaijan NOW!

These illegally abducted officials, soldiers and citizens are being detained in clear violation of domestic and international law, including UN and European human rights conventions to which Azerbaijan is a party. The conditions of their detention are deeply concerning, including inadequate communications with their families, an absence of regular independent monitoring or consular access, and the denial of access to local and international lawyers. Azerbaijan must respect international legal standards and human rights on which peace and stability depend.

You can also visit: www.freearmenianprisoners.com

6. UK Parliamentarians raising the issues of Armenia and Artsakh

“Christians of the Armenian Quarter are facing threats and intimidation”: Sir Edward Leigh MP statements supporting the fight of the Armenians of Jerusalem to protect their historic land. Watch the video of his statements here.

7. News articles and recent developments

Genocide Watch alerted that Azerbaijan threatens new aggression against Armenia: “Pashinyan’s ceding of four Tavush Province villages to Azerbaijan will not satisfy Aliyev’s goal of dissolving the state of Armenia. To legitimize Azerbaijani encroachment on Armenia’s borders will only encourage Aliyev’s aggression into Armenia. Aliyev will not stop until he takes Yerevan”.
Read it here
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued a statement on the six months anniversary of the Artsakh Genocide. “For half a year, the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has grappled with the harsh reality of displacement amid global apathy and unpredictability”, said the Lemkin Institute.
Read it here
“Despite recent aggressive military actions against Armenian interests in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and a crackdown on civil society at home, Azerbaijan has largely avoided the imposition of the kinds of Western sanctions”.

Read the investigation by Rasmus Canbäck, Swedish social anthropologist and journalist, in The Insider here:

Read it here
The Center for Truth and Justice is petitioning the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a preliminary examination into the ongoing genocide being perpetrated by Azerbaijan’s armed forces against Armenians. The petition asks the ICC to evaluate whether there is a reasonable basis for a formal investigation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and others accused of planning, inciting, ordering, and executing a state policy of genocide against Armenians.
Azerbaijan demolished the historic Armenian Church of St. John the Baptist (known as Kanach Zham), constructed in 1818 and located in the occupied region of Shushi, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). According to Karabakh Records, satellite images confirm that the church was razed to the ground in February 2024.
According to satellite images, Azerbaijan destroyed the entire Karin Tak village in the upper district of occupied Shushi, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
“In a matter of days Azerbaijan’s military regained all the lands it had lost in a war triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union. What worries Armenians now is that their neighbour wants more, even if Azerbaijan’s president talks of being close ‘as never before’ to a peace deal. They have heard Ilham Aliyev speak before of Armenia being ‘Western Azerbaijan’ and see it as a sign of imminent invasion”.
Read it here

On 26 March 2024, Ms Nusrat Ghani was appointed a Minister of State (Minister for Europe) in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office replacing Leo Docherty. We wish her success in her new role.
Azerbaijani armed forces fired towards Armenian combat positions and civilians across various directions of the border during the first days of April.
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued another Red Flag Alert on April 3rd “given Azerbaijan’s escalating genocidal rhetoric, territorial demands and recent attacks on Armenia’s Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces”.
Read it here
According to The Times, a leaked document shows UK has entered talks to replicate the Rwanda migrant deportation scheme with Armenia, which would include sending illegal migrants there. The Spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ani Badalyan denied the reports.
Read it here
The family of illegally detained philanthropist, Ruben Vardanyan, announced today that he entered into a hunger strike to demand the immediate and unconditional release of himself and the other Armenian prisoners illegally held in Azerbaijan.
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers led by Congresswoman Dina Titus is planning to introduce the first-ever Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act, according to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). According to Titus, the bill will impose various sanctions on Azerbaijani officials who directed or carried out the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh.
The report Nations in Transit 2024 by Freedom House stated that “Azerbaijani regime’s inhumane conquest of Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrated once again the deadly consequences of autocracy’s expansion”.
Read it here
Europeans for Artsakh platform urges EU Leadership to support the right of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh Armenians to live collectively
Read it here

 8. Tavush and Demarcation and Delimitation of Armenian Borders

There have been wide spread protests across Armenia during the last 10 days against Armenian government’s policy of ongoing one sided  territorial concessions to Azerbaijan.

This began after Aliyev demanded 4 villages from Tavush region and the Armenian governmnet has agreed to these demands. The Armenian government has given no gurantees that after giving further territories a peace can be reached between Azerbaijan and Armenia. They cannot guarantee further aggression and attacks to be halted by Azerbaijan. It is unclear then why they are prepared to concede important defence heights, endanger the gas pipelines, and risk further citizens of Armenia to be in close vicinity of Azerbaijani snipers.

Please see our statement dated 29 April 2024:

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