YEREVAN (News.am)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s parliamentary faction has submitted a draft resolution to the Armenian National Assembly making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide and raising the issue of reparations for the crime, committed by the Ottoman Turkish government nearly a century ago.
The bill also envisages the formation of a special state commission tasked with pursuing the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Representatives of key parliamentary forces in Armenia mostly welcomed the bill. Larisa Alaversyan of the opposition Heritage Party told news.am that the adoption of the bill would create further precedent for Armenia’s application to the Court of International Arbitration on the issue. “At present, we deal with the issue of Armenian Genocide from the scientific and historical aspects rather than from the legal one,” Alaverdyan said, adding that “the Armenian nation must have such a law for similar crimes to be prevented in the future.”
The head of Prosperous Armenia’s parliamentary faction, Aram Safaryan, echoed Alaversyan’s sentiments but stopped short of supporting the criminalizing of genocide denial in Armenia. “It would be a paradox to deny the fact in Armenia,” he said. “I think that it is other countries’ Parliaments that have to adopt laws providing criminal responsibility for denying the Armenian Genocide.”
Hovhannes Margaryan of the Country of Law faction similarly supported the initiative, saying that a “relevant law has to be adopted in Armenia.”
In 1988 the Supreme Council of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted a resolution declaring April 24 a day of commemoration for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.