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 ANC UK Newsletter March 2024

Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee!
Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

Dear followers, it has been a very busy month for the committee. We hosted a community event with guest speaker Arman Tatoyan, we invited Arman Tatoyan to Parliament for a series of meetings and presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Armenia.

We prepared an extensive briefing that the MPs used in the 1.5 hours of debate in Westminster Hall on Artsakh. For the first time the Artsakh flag was raised in the main Westminster Hall by the Armenian community.

We also met with the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the Kurdish People’s Democratic Assembly of Britain at Navasartian Center.

Please find below a more detailed account of our activity.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter. Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee! Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

1. Arman Tatoyan visit to UK
2. UK House of Commons debate “International support for Armenian refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh”
3. Baroness Cox statements during the debate “Christians: Persecution”
4. UK Parliamentarians raising the issues of Armenia and Artsakh
5. Competition: Your Story of Genocide – Deadline end of March
6. ANC-UK met with the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and Kurdish People’s Democratic Assembly of Britain
7. Recent developments

1. Arman Tatoyan visit to UK

Arman Tatoyan, former Human Rights Defender of Armenia, met with the Armenian community of UK at Navasartian Centre on March 17. The event was held under the auspices of the Diocese of The Armenian Church of the United Kingdom & Ireland and was co-organised by the Armenian National Committee of United Kingdom (ANC-UK).

Award winning British Armenian comedian, pianist, activist and star of Armenia Uncovered Kev Orkian moderated the event along with Annette Moskofian, Chairperson of ANC-UK. Armen Bodossian, member of ANC-UK, made the opening remarks.

Arman Tatoyan presented Azerbaijan’s current invasion against Armenia’s internationally recognized border, especially in Nerkin Hand, discussed the ethnic cleansing of the native Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) after the genocidal blockade and referred to the Constitutional changes in Armenia. The participants of the event also stressed how important it is for the diaspora to unite in advocating for the rights of the Armenian people.

After the presentation, the community members were able to ask questions to Tatoyan.

Dr. Arman Tatoyan also met with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Armenia at the UK Parliament with the invitation of ANC UK. Tatoyan spoke to the MPs about Azerbaijan’s incursions into sovereign territory of Armenia, Artsakh’s ethnic cleansing, border security and human rights of border villages and towns.

Finally, Tatoyan visited Westminster and the UK Parliament accompanied by Tim Loughton MP and Annette Moskofian, Chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of United Kingdom (ANC-UK).

2. UK House of Commons debate “International support for Armenian refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh”

On 19th of March from 2.30-4 pm 10 MPs participated to a UK House of Commons debate on “International support for Armenian refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh”. This debate was initiated by Carol Monaghan (SNP).
The Azerbaijani side had one MP participation. this shows the support we receive from UK parliamentarians on issues concerning our community.We thank all the MPs who participated in  debate . Our sincerest thanks to Carol Monaghan (SNP) for initiating the debate on Artsakh and all the other participants: Tim Loughton (Cons), John Whittingdale (Cons), Jessica Morden (Lab), Chris Law (SNP), Alex Sobel (Lab), Rupa Huq (Lab), Jim Shannon (DUP), Stephen Doughty (Lab) and Judith Cummins (Lab).The debate covered increase in humanitarian aid to forcibly displaced Armenians of Artsakh, their right of return to their ancestral land under international protection, preservation of the Armenian cultural and religious sites in Artsakh, the unconditional release of the POWs and captives held illegally in Baku, sanctioning Azerbaijan for war crimes and ethnic cleansing, supporting peace negotiations to avoid future attacks by Azerbaijan into Armenian sovereign territory, the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the UK.

Link to the debate video: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/55aeddcf-2292-4ccb-8bd8-c602fa3f4296
Link to the Hansard: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2024-03-19/debates/667E701E-BF59-41AF-AB5C-624F772EA4BC/details

Ealing Armenian community just after the parliamentary debate on Artsakh in Westminster Hall with some of the MPs participating to the debate with their wonderful passionate speeches.

A summary of some of the most important phrases of the MPs:

4. Baroness Cox statements during the debate “Christians: Persecution”

Baroness Cox statements during a debate entitled “Christians: Persecution” at Westminster Hall on March 25. “Armenia suffered genocide in the last century and is now suffering sustained Islamist Azerbaijani attacks. I have been there many times; we have seen the people having to flee. The little land of Nagorno-Karabakh, historically ancient Armenia, has now been cleansed of all Armenians—a real case of ethnic cleansing. Armenia is not a big nation to have to take the many people displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh”.

The live session: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a34aa271-69e3-4828-b8f4-736eb7b75d47?agenda=True#player-tabs

The transcription of the debate: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2024-03-25/debates/CB6143EE-0EAF-4202-9167-7F1D96B4F5E9/details

4. UK Parliamentarians raising the issues of Armenia and Artsakh

4. Competition: Your Story of Genocide

Calling all British Armenians aged 6-15! As we approach the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we want to hear how your family was affected by the catastrophe. In an essay (750 words) or a poem (in English), share your ancestor’s story with us – tales of hardship, bravery, and endurance – along with a photo of them and a photo of yourself.

The best entry received before April 7 will receive a prize, and will have the honour of reciting their story at the Armenian Genocide memorial ceremony in Ealing, on 20th April at 3pm. Good luck!

On March 24 we had a meeting with the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and Kurdish People’s Democratic Assembly of Britain at Navasartian Center. We discussed upcoming UK elections and foreign policy issues.

5. Recent developments

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on March 13 on the need for closer ties between the European Union and Armenia, the need for a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and to consider the possibility of granting Armenia candidate status for EU membership. The resolution was adopted with 504 votes in favor, 4 against and 32 abstentions.
Read it here
The Last Repair Shop, a short documentary that features the story of Steve Bagmanyan, who faced ethnic persecution by Azerbaijan in the 1980s, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film on March 10.
OCCRP reporters revealed that Rashad Abdullayev, son of Rovnag Abdullayev, former president of the Azerbaijani state-run energy giant SOCAR, was “the owner of a flat in one of London’s most expensive areas, at the age of just 28”.
Read it here

According to a Freedom House report on global freedom in 2023, Nagorno-Karabakh “suffered the year’s largest recorded decline in freedom and moved from Partly Free to Not Free after a blockade and military offensive by the Azerbaijani regime”. The organisation noted that the Azerbaijani attack led to the “expulsion of its ethnic Armenian population”.
Read it here
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on “Implementation of the common security and defence policy – annual report 2023” on February 28 that “condemns the policies of aggression, including the pre-planned military attack of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh” and “recalls that this attack follows months of organised starvation and isolation of the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh through the blockade of the Lachin corridor”.
Read it here
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention said: “Given the high risk of serious violations of human rights against these individuals, including the loss of life, the need for a strong international presence has never been more urgent. Consequently, the Lemkin Institute calls on the international community to take necessary steps to secure the prompt and safe repatriation of all Armenian prisoners of war (POWs), officials, and civilians held hostage in Azerbaijan”.
Read it here

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The Armenian National Committee of the United Kingdom (ANC-UK) is the largest and most influential British-Armenian political grassroots organisation.

Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Britain and affiliated organisations around the world, ANC-UK actively advances the concerns of the British-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

The work achieved by ANC-UK is currently on a volunteer basis. However, we are hopeful that in the coming years through the financial support of our community, the ANC-UK chapter will have the necessary funds to open a full-time office employing an Executive Director and a part-time Administrative Assistant.

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