The Assyrian Community of Great Britain, numbering some 5,000 people, has made great strides for the recognition of the 1915 Assyrian Genocide (Seyfo) in Ottoman Turkey.
On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day 2006, Assyrian organizations screened a powerful new documentary on the Assyrian Genocide at Assyrian House in London (22 January 2006), held a successful public meeting at the House of Commons with Assyrian and Armenian speakers (24 January 2006), and now they have an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled at the House of Commons with the sponsorship of Steven Pound, MP. The EDM also addresses the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The full text of the EDM is as follow:
ASSYRIAN AND ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IN 1915
That this House is appalled by the genocide committed against the Assyrians in 1915 in their ancestral homeland by the then ruling government of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the Committee for Union and Progress, a genocide which led to the mass exodus of the Assyrians from their millennia-old native soil and resulted in the deaths of approximately two-thirds of the Assyrian population and one and a half million Armenians and the destruction of many Assyrian and Armenian villages and national and religious institutions; recognises the suffering of the Assyrian and Armenian people during the genocide of 1915, and accepts that the suffering of victims of genocide is augmented and perpetuated by indifference and denial, and that genocide prevention can only by achieved by learning from history and recognising and condemning previous acts of genocide; calls upon the UK and Turkish governments publicly and officially to recognise the Assyrian and Armenian genocide of 1915, and encourage other members of the international community to take similar steps, thereby fulfilling the obligation of international co-operation enshrined in the preamble to the 1948 Genocide Convention; and urges the UK Government to call on the European Union to make official Turkish recognition of the 1915 Assyrian and Armenian genocide one of the pre-conditions for Turkey's membership of the EU.
"The Armenian Community congratulates the Assyrian community for its initiative," said Raffi Karaoglanian. "It is about time that the 1915 Assyrian, Armenian and Greek genocides in Ottoman Turkey are addressed as part of the same event."
The Firodil Institute, based in London, is currently drumming support for the EDM by asking British citizens (Assyrians and non-Assyrians) to visit the following web address, and to see if their MPs have signed onto the statement.
For more information about the EDM, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org