On 9th December 2020, Lord Alton of Liverpool and the Coalition for Genocide Response organised a webinar marking the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, focusing on the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenians and the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh today.
The Armenian genocide took place between 1915 and 1923 when 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were arrested, deported or murdered by the Ottoman Empire. Currently, some 32 countries recognise the events as meeting the legal definition of genocide. The formal recognition of historic cases as genocide is not a matter of semantics. Such a formal recognition is crucial for survivors and their families in their efforts to move on. It is crucial for reconciliation and discovery of the truth. It is also crucial to deter similar crimes in the future, to ensure that such atrocities do not happen again.
However, as in the case of Armenians, in 2020, we see early warning signs that the practices that targeted the communities over 100 years ago in the Ottoman Empire are being reinforced yet again.
The panellists discussed the warning signs of mass atrocities and the needed responses to ensure that the Armenians are not let down yet again.
Lord David Alton of Liverpool, Crossbench peer at the UK House of Lords, Patron of the Coalition for Genocide Response
Baroness Caroline Cox, Crossbench peer at the UK House of Lords, Founder of HART
Geoffrey Robertson QC, Founder and joint head of Doughty Street Chambers
Gulnara Shahinian, human rights expert and author
Watch it here: