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Newsletter No 15




First Reading of Armenian Genocide Bill in House of

Commons Goes Unopposed

Dear Members of the Armenian community in the United Kingdom,

Thank you for your continued support of ANC UK in our efforts to convince the UK government that Armenian Genocide recognition is an essential step towards realising both British and Armenian values. Over the past week, we have been working with MPs across the political spectrum and members of the APPG for Armenia to influence the UK’s policy towards the Armenian Genocide and have seen historic successes in this area. On Tuesday 9th November, the first reading of Tim Loughton’s ‘Armenian Genocide Recognition Bill’ passed through the House of Commons unopposed, putting the UK a formal and significant step closer to recognising the Armenian Genocide.

We will continue to represent the interests of the Armenian community in the UK political arena, ensuring the voice of Armenians in the UK remains influential. This newsletter provides a brief update on the important parliamentary proceedings of the past week, whilst affording our readership an insight into ANC UK’s upcoming campaigns.

The House of Commons has taken a vital step towards UK’s formal recognition of the

Armenian Genocide on November 9th, 2021. 

Earlier this week, Tim Loughton, the Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham and Chairman of the Armenian All Party Parliamentary Group put forward the “Recognition of Armenian Genocide Bill” for its First Reading in the House of Commons in accordance with the Ten-Minute Rule Bill procedure. 

The ANC UK expresses its sincerest thanks to Tim and the Bill’s 14 co-sponsors for their invaluable support in recognising the Armenian Genocide, helping the UK affirm its core values with regard to the Rule of Law and upholding human rights. 

We would also like to stress how delighted we are that this initiative has been a cross party effort: uniting MPs across the political spectrum, from the Conservative Party to the Labour party; the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Democratic Unionist Party and Plaid Cymru. 

The First Reading of the Bill successfully went ahead unopposed and the full video-recording of the First Reading can be found here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/6be40a26-ff22-4c83-9a03-fcf2e342cea9?in=14:35:34

The manuscript of the debate can be found here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-11-09/debates/AEFD429A-450D-41A4-A66F-9BDAB7583AB4/RecognitionOfArmenianGenocide

What are Bill’s contents?

The Bill intends to require the UK government to: 

  1. formally recognise that the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 constituted genocide; and

  2. establish an annual commemoration for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide and its relevance to modern-day crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

Mr Loughton highlighted that at least 31 countries currently recognise the Armenian Genocide, including UK’s European partners such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and France, which notably recently passed into law the offence of denying that the Armenian killings were genocide. Earlier this year, the Biden Administration in the United States recognised the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide as well. Mr Loughton added that “it is therefore surely time for the UK to do the right thing and follow suit.”

Tim Loughton on why the UK should recognise the Armenian Genocide:

During his motion, Mr Loughton noted that the refusal to recognise the Armenian Genocide risks conveying a dangerous message of impunity that a crime unpunished is a crime encouraged or downplayed. The Armenian Genocide must be recognised to promote key national interests, including the UK’s commitment to the United Nations Genocide Convention. Recognition will also help to right an historical injustice, help advance genocide studies globally, raise public awareness on crimes against humanity and send out assurance to the Armenian community in the United Kingdom. Finally, recognition of the Armenian Genocide is in line with the UK Parliament’s recent recognition of the Chinese genocide against the Uyghur Muslims in April 2021. 

With the First Reading having taken place on November 9th 2021, the one year anniversary of the November 9 Ceasefire Agreement that ended the 2020 Artsakh War, Mr Loughton also addressed the relevance of the Armenian Genocide today in light of the disappointing nature of the relatively tame condemnation last year of Azerbaijan’s invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and the ongoing atrocities committed against Armenian prisoners and Armenians still trying to live in their homelands. 

Mr Loughton’s speech ended with the following powerful remark: 

“With the Bill, we have the opportunity to do our bit to help right an appalling historical injustice and, as a leading advocate of human rights on the international stage, send out a clear message that we recognise genocide—wherever and whenever it has been committed—as the worst crime against humanity and that we will call it out, defend the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Further information can be found on the following article of major news outlet The Evening Standard: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/tim-loughton-joe-biden-conservative-house-of-commons-shoreham-b965262.html

You can watch Tim Loughton’s interview recently given to an Armenian TV network 1in: https://fb.watch/9bLcnK_gjN/

What are the Bill’s next stages?

ANC UK will continue in its efforts and commitment to convince the UK government to recognise the Armenian Genocide, it is unlikely the Bill will be heard at the second reading.

This is a milestone on a long road ahead for activism. It’s our first success. The aim is to raise the profile of this important issue and keep it topical and eventually be able to influence the government’s position. 

We will also strive to have a similar bill be presented in the house of Lords.

We thank the Chair of Armenian All Party Parliamentary Group, Tim Loughton, together with all the other members of the parliamentary group, supporters of the Bill and everyone else who has and continues to support the efforts of Armenian Genocide Recognition. 

Please give today to help our campaigns

ANC UK has so far worked in volunteering capacity, campaigning on behalf of the Armenian community, continuously pushing the UK government on the issues of Artsakh and the Armenian Genocide, helping remove pro-Azeri propaganda in London, and providing direct assistance to the officers and members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Armenia.

As we move into the next phase of our campaigning, we need our community’s help to ensure we can gain the support of more parliamentarians. This means supporting the campaign by contacting your MPs and donating to ANC UK to help us hire a much-needed permanent staff member.

With everything that we’ve all been through and all that lies ahead, we need your faith, your friendship, and financial generosity more than ever before

Donate Now

How you can help:

The Armenian Cause will only be successful with the full support and engagement of the community members. We want to say a big thank you for all your support over the last 2 years. 

It is vital that the community members write to their MPs. Here is how:

1. Write to your MP using a personal message, with a compelling story of why the issue of the Armenian Genocide matters to you, asking them for a meeting. If you secure a meeting, ANC UK will be happy to brief you ahead of this and provide you with any necessary materials.

2. Get in touch with us by responding to this email if you are interested in becoming a rapid responder, giving you the opportunity to be more involved in our campaigning work and allowing us to use your name to contact MPs quickly and directly.

3. Get in touch if you would like to engage with your MP on the issue of the Armenian Genocide and would like support in contacting them.





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