Cyprus makes it a crime to deny Armenian Genocide

Cyprus makes it a crime to deny Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Cyprus on Thursday, April 2, made it a crime to deny that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians a century ago, Cyprus Mail reports.

The Cypriot parliament passed a resolution penalizing denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, modifying existing legislation, which required prior conviction by an international court to make denial a crime.

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

The island was one of the first countries worldwide in 1975 to recognize the Armenian killings as genocide. It is commemorated on April 24.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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