WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America’s nationwide "End the Gag Rule" campaign has gone to Capitol Hill, highlighting the unacceptability of Turkey’s use of threats and intimidation to veto U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The campaign includes coordinated grassroots activism, focused Congressional outreach, and an unprecedented series of compelling print and on-line advertisemen’s in Capitol Hill websites and publications. The ads, which serve as the centerpiece of the campaign, feature a powerful image of the Statue of Liberty with a Turkish flag gag over her mouth, symbolizing Turkey’s efforts to silence America’s proud and principled advocacy of human rights.
Full page print ads appeared on April 23 and 24 in Roll Call, The Hill, and Congressional Quarterly’s CQ Today, and on-line ads are appearing, through all of April and May, on a rotating basis, on the following websites targeting Members of Congress and the broader Washington public policy community:
Each of these ads drive web traffic to www.endthegagrule.com, a website that provides historical background on the Armenian Genocide, outlines the legislative history and rationale for the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 & S.Res.106), explains Turkey’s gag rule, links to www.theforgotten.org, and offers a direct avenue for grassroots communication with Congress.
The website describes Turkey as an "unreliable ally" making an "unreasonable request." On the first score, the website points out that, "Over the past decade, at the same time that Turkey has become increasingly aggressive and demanding in its relationship with the U.S. government, it has steadily distanced itself from its traditional Cold War-era role as a reliable partner in advancing our regional and security priorities." On the second point, the website stresses that, "As Americans, we should never allow other countries – even our allies – to exercise a veto our principled and unconditional stand against all instances of genocide. Turkey, which outlaws even the mention of the Armenian Genocide by its own citizens, is today seeking to export this undemocratic restriction on free speech to the United States. Using threats and intimidation against the U.S. and our forces in the field, the Turkish government has effectively imposed a "gag-rule" on our condemnation and commemoration of this crime against humanity. At the same time, back home, Turkey is cracking down on even the discussion of this vital human rights issue."