Assyrian Democratic OrganizationAssyrian Democratic Organization
[Europe Section, "Mtakasta"]

Recognition of the Armenian genocide by the French Prime
by the Assyrian Democratic Organisation, DECLARATION
Sunday, May 24, 1998


Monsieur Jean Paul Bret
Groupe d'Amitié France-Armenie
á l'Assemblée Nationale Française

126, rue de l'Université
75007 PARIS

FranceRe:  Recognition of the Armenian genocide - by the French National Assembly - by the French Government as represented by its competent officials and - especially by the French Prime Minister Mr. Lionel Jospin

DECLARATION by the Assyrian Democratic Organisation

Dear Mr. Bret,

The Assyrian nation has learnt with great disappointment and worries about the evasive and truth distorting statements of French Prime Minister Mr. Lionel Jospin on last April 24 in which he avoided despite overwhelming evidence to name the genocide - inflicted upon the Armenian nation in 1915-1918 and ongoing till 1923 - straightforwardly 'genocide' in the full and proper sense of the term but instead played it down to a 'drama' and 'tragedy' of a sort. 
 
Furthermore it has come to our knowledge that on next May 29 the French National Assembly will see a motion being put to the vote which will demand the recognition of the Armenian genocide as such by using the correct word for its essence and character. 

IN THE ALL TOO WELL FOUNDED FEAR
that a possible non-adoption of this motion in any form and on any grounds whatsoever will establish a precedent

lending legitimation to further denials and repudiations of this very genocide as well as of other ones in present and future
invoking a flood of further intellectual and moral dishonesty and insincerity in matters of all-human concern and fostering any future distortion of historical truth at the same time
being bound to encourage potential perpetrators of genocide(s) in present and future by the mere fact of its (their) non-recognition, thus non-condemnation, thus non-punishment

THE ASSYRIAN DEMOCRATIC ORGANISATION HEREBY EXPRESSES ITS WILL to stand firmly by the Armenian nation and launches an urgent appeal to the French National Assembly, the French Government and especially to the French Prime Minister Mr Lionel Jospin

to courageously wake up to the truth and to responsibly live up to its obligations
to do this by calling the aforesaid genocide by its proper name 'genocide'
thus to live up to the moral standards as being the achievements of the great French culture as part the European heritage to mankind
thus to make a central contribution to justice and genocide prevention
thus to open up really true chances for a reconciliation between the people and nations concerned by substantializing those prospects with a sincere commitment to truth which by principle is not liable to slide into the subjugation to any pressure impairing the sense for justice and consequently violating reality
thus to contribute to stability and a future positive development of the region.

OUR ATTITUDE in this is guided by a twofold motive:

1.  By our firm belief that this very genocide constitutes an assault on mankind and humanity in total.  Consequently ethics and morale demand at least its recognition through correct designation, proper judgement and its condemnation by every human being who does want not to step outside the value system of humanity either willingly or by gross negligence,

2.  By the fact deep-rooted in our hearts that the Assyrian nation herself is a VICTIM and thus WITNESS of the aforesaid genocide insofar as it has expanded from the Armenian to the Assyrian nation which latter it continues to actively and systematically threaten with elimination even today.  That this truth is not reflected in the awareness and conscience of the international community does not mean any lessening but all the more demands its straight revelation, disclosure and world wide recognition. 

‘The difference between the Armenian massacres and the Assyrian massacres lies in that in the first case all the possible has been done to make it known in the world while in the second case all possible precautions have been taken to keep this sad reality secret. ’
(Rev. Dr. A. W. Wigrams in ‘Assyrians during the Great War’, Near East, London 1920)

The Armenian genocide 1915-16 bearing its special character and importance was perpetrated within the broader historical context of genocides inflicted also upon Syriacs-Assyrians and generally the oriental Christians of which it marked the beginning. 

What happened on April 24, 1915 turned into an ever growing tidal wave engulfing also the Syriac-Assyrian communities in their respective homelands that resulted in killing half a million Syriacs-Assyrians and uprooting another half million.  This ethnic cleansing continues even today at the hands of TURKS, KURDS, and ARABS.

WITH THIS IN MIND we feel obliged to honour the memory of the victims of murder and other crimes against humanity (still today:   abduction, rape, forced Islamisation, Turkisation, Kurdisation, Arabisation, and expulsion) both of our and the Armenian nation and to do this by hereby bearing open testimony to the common destiny of distress and resulting human duties our both nations share in. 

We want to reinforce our appeal with the heartily felt wish that this time efforts will succeed in making the truth win and we hereby assure the Armenian nation of all and any support in this matter. 

ISSA HANNA
President
ADO - Section Europe

Mr. Sait Demir
President
Zentralverband der Assyr.  Vereinigungen in Mitteleuropa (ZAVD)
Postfach 112305
D-86048 Augsburg / Germany
Mr. Ninib Ablahad Lahdo
President
Assyriska Riksforbundet Isverige
P.P. 6019
S-15106 Södertalja / Sweden
Mr. Samir Elijo
President
Federatie Tur-Abdin (FTN)
Postbus 4013
NL-77504 RC EnschedeNetherlands

Assyrian Democratic Organization
P.O. Box 310 203 • 86063 Augsburg, Germany • Fax:  +49 (0) 821-426352