3033) We Have A Message From Swedish Parliament Translators

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com --- Original Message ---
Subject: Swedish Parliament's Translation Of Its Motion On The Armenian Genocide
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
From: Hugh Rodwell at riksdagen dot se
To: NewsRush at gmail dot com

We thought you might be interested in our authorized translation of the motion approved by the Swedish Parliament to recognize as genocide the 1915 massacres of Armenians and other orthodox Christian communities in Turkey.

The commendably rapid translation you published was useful - thank you! Our translation was ready a little later, but is a more accurate rendering of the motion. You are free to
. . use it if you would like to do so.

Here is the link to the motion in English on the Swedish Parliament's website:


Best regards,

Russell James
Hugh Rodwell

Translators to the Riksdag/the Swedish Parliament

And here is the motion as a Word document:

Motion to the Riksdag 2008/09:U332
by Hans Linde, etc. (Left Party, Green Party, Christian Democrats, Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party)
Genocide of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks in 1915

1 Proposal for a decision by the Riksdag
The Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) announces to the Government what is stated in the motion regarding the fact that Sweden should recognise as an act of genocide the killing of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks in 1915.

The Riksdag announces to the Government what is stated in the motion regarding the fact that Sweden should work in the EU and the UN towards international recognition as an act of genocide of the killing of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks in 1915.
The Riksdag announces to the Government what is stated in the motion regarding the fact that Sweden should work towards Turkey’s recognition as an act of genocide of the killing of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks in 1915.

2 Background
The Living History Forum is a public authority entrusted with the task of working with issues concerning tolerance, democracy and human rights, against the background of the Holocaust. By illuminating one of the darkest parts of the history of humanity, we want to influence the future.

This is the description given by an authority working at the request of the Government to inform and educate on such subjects as the genocide of 1915. The lesson of history is one of the cornerstones of the democracies of today where we have learnt from our mistakes, and by preventing the repetition of previous mistakes, we are striving for a better future. However, the prevention of wrong steps being taken in the future, especially when we are already familiar with these from history, cannot be carried out unless such errors that have already been made are openly recognised. Revisionism is therefore a dangerous tool when it comes to facilitating repetition of the darker sides of history.

The genocide of 1915 mainly affected Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks, but later it was also to affect other minorities. It was the dream of a great Turkish state, Greater Turan, which encouraged the Turkish leaders to ethnically homogenise what was left of the scattered remains of the Ottoman Empire following its collapse at the turn of the previous century. This was achieved under the cover of the world war which was raging at the time, and the Armenian, Assyrian/Syriac/Chaldean and Pontic Greek population of the empire was virtually annihilated. Researchers estimate that approx. 1,500,000 Armenians, 250,000 – 500,000 Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and approx. 350,000 Pontic Greeks were killed or disappeared.

During the short period following the defeat of Turkey in 1918 until the time of the Turkish national movement, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, the genocide was discussed openly. Political and military leaders were put on trial, accused of “war crimes” and “crimes committed against humanity”. Many were found guilty and sentenced to death or imprisonment. During these trials, horrible details were revealed about the persecution of minorities in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey thus went through a phase similar to the one experienced by Germany after the second world war. However, the process was to be short-lived. The emergence of the Turkish national movement and the dissolution of the Sultanate led to the discontinuation of the trials and the majority of the accused were set free. Virtually the whole of the remaining Christian population - Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks – were expelled from areas they had lived in for thousands of years.

3 UN Convention on Genocide 1948, the European Parliament and official recognition
Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jewish lawyer who coined the term “genocide” in the 1940s and was the originator of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was well aware of the genocide of 1915 and the failure of the international community to intervene. His version of the definition was adopted in the UN Convention and it reads as follows:

Article 2) In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as:
Killing members of the group;

Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Furthermore, it is established that the current UN Convention from 1948 does not constitute new legislation, but merely a ratification of existing interna-tional laws on “crimes against humanity” as stated in the Treaty of S?vres, Article 230 (1920). Even more important is the UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, adopted on 26 November 1968 and in force since 11 November 1970, which establishes its retroactivity and bars such crimes from falling under any form of statutory limitation. For this reason, both of the massacres in the Ottoman Empire and those of the Holocaust are designated as cases of genocide according to the UN Convention, despite the fact that they both took place before the Convention originated.

During the history of the UN, two major studies/reports have been carried out on the crime of genocide. The first is the Ruhashyankiko Report from 1978, and the second is the Whitaker Report, compiled by Benjamin Whitaker from 1985 (Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Thirty-eighth session, Item 4 of the provisional agenda, E/CN.4/Sub.2/ 1985/6).

The 1915 genocide is mentioned in several places as an example of an act of genocide committed during the 20th century. The report was approved in a sub-commission to the UN Commission on Human Rights with 14 votes in favour and one against (and four abstentions) in August 1985. On 18 June 1987, the European Parliament officially recognised the act of genocide committed against the Armenians. Since 1965, that is the fiftieth anniversary of the genocide, several countries and organisations have officially recognised the genocide of 1915, including Uruguay (1965), Cyprus (1982), Russia (1995), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), France (1998), Italy (2000), the Vatican (2000), Switzerland (2003), Argentina (2003), Canada (2004), Slovakia (2004), the Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Venezuela (2005), Germany (2005), Lithuania (2005) and Chile (2007).

4 Research on the 1915 genocide, and Swedish awareness of it
After the Holocaust, the 1915 genocide is regarded as the most studied case in the modern period. Today there is a broad, cross-disciplinary consensus among an overwhelming majority of genocide scholars that the massacres in the Ottoman Empire during the first world war constitute genocide. It is regarded as the "genocide prototype" (while the Holocaust is referred to as the "genocide paradigm"). On a number of occasions the International Associa-tion of Genocide Scholars, IAGS, an independent, cross-disciplinary, world-leading authority in this field, has confirmed this consensus, namely on 13 June 1997, 13 June 2005, 5 October 2007, and 23 April 2008. The wording of the resolution of 13 July 2007 is as follows:

WHEREAS the denial of genocide is widely recognised as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides;

WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and following the First World War is usually depicted as a genocide against Armenians, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire;

BE IT RESOLVED that it is the conviction of the International Associa-tion of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association calls upon the gov-ernment of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology and take prompt and meaningful steps towards restitution.

On 8 June some sixty eminent genocide experts signed an appeal to the members of the Riksdag dismissing claims of disunity among scholars regarding the 1915 genocide. Research must continue and both Turkey and other countries must ensure the possibility of an open, independent and impartial atmosphere for conducting this research, by means such as Turkey giving full access to its archives and permitting similar discussions without researchers, authors, journalists and publicists risking prosecution for recognising and criticising the reality of the genocide.

Recent research at Uppsala University also testifies to the fact that there was detailed knowledge of the 1915 genocide in Sweden. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the General Staff were well informed of the ongoing extermination via reports sent to Stockholm by the Swedish Ambassador Per Gustav August Cosswa Anckarsv?rd and the Swedish Military Attach? Einar af Wirs?n (both stationed in Constantinople). These include the following extracts:
Anckarsv?rd, 6 July 1915: "Your Excellency! Persecutions of the Armenians have assumed hair-raising proportions and everything indicates that, as for various reasons no effective external pressure need be feared, the Young Turks wish to exploit the opportunity to once and for all put an end to the Armenian question. Their method is quite simple. It consists of exterminating the Armenian nation."

Anckarsv?rd, 22 July 1915: "It is not only Armenians, but also Turkish subjects of Greek nationality who are being persecuted with extreme severity… According to Mr. Tsamados [the Greek charg? d’affaires], what is at issue is nothing less than a war of extermination against the Greek nation in Turkey…"

Anckarsv?rd, 2 September 1915: "The six Armenian vilayeten [provinces] now appear to be completely cleansed of at least Armenian-Catholic Armenians… It is clear that the Turks are seeking to exploit the opportunity presently offered by the war to obliterate the Armenian nation, so that when peace comes there will no longer be any Armenian question."
Wirs?n, 13 May 1916: "The health situation in Iraq is appalling. Typhus fever is claiming numerous victims. The Armenian persecutions have greatly contributed to the spread of the disease, as those expelled have died of hunger and deprivation in their hundreds of thousands along the roads."

Anckarsv?rd, 5 January 1917: "The situation could have been completely different, however, if Turkey had followed the advice of the Central Powers and transferred to them the internal organisation of supplies and other matters… Worse than this, however, is the extermination of the Armenians, which it may have been possible to prevent if the same power that German officers de facto exercise over the army and navy had been handed over to German advisers in the civil administration."
Envoy? Ahlgren, 20 August 1917: "Shortages and high prices are still on the rise… There are several reasons for this… lastly: the great decrease in production caused by a reduced supply of labour, which is partly due to mobilisation and partly due to the extermination of the Armenian race".

In his memoirs "Memories of Peace and War” (1942) Wirs?n devoted an entire chapter to the genocide. In "The Murder of a Nation" Wirs?n writes that

"Officially, these [deportations] had the objective of moving the whole Armenian population to the steppe regions of northern Mesopotamia and Syria, but in reality the intention was to exterminate the Armenians… The annihilation of the Armenian nation in Asia Minor is an affront to all human feeling. This is without doubt one of the greatest crimes perpetrated in recent centuries. The manner in which the Armenian problem has been resolved is hair-raising."

In addition, there are eye-witness reports published by missionaries and field workers like Alma Johansson, Maria Anholm, Lars Erik H?gberg, E. John Larsson, Olga Moberg, Per Pehrsson and others. Hjalmar Branting was the very first person to use the term genocide when, long before Lemkin, on 26 March 1917, he called the persecutions of the Armenians "organised and systematic genocide, worse than anything we have ever seen in Europe".

Recognition of the 1915 genocide is not only important for bringing redress to the directly affected ethnic groups and the minorities that are still living in Turkey, but also for assisting the development of Turkey itself. Turkey cannot become a better democracy if the truth about its past is denied. The Armenian reporter Hrant Dink was murdered for having openly expressed himself regarding the genocide, and several others have been prosecuted for the same thing under the infamous Clause 301.

The Turkish Government's most recent amendments to the law are purely cosmetic and do not entail the slightest change. It is sometimes said that history should be written by historians, and we fully agree. However, politicians have a responsibility to take into account historical facts and historical research. Further, Swedish recognition of the truth and historical facts should not constitute any obstacles either to reform efforts in Turkey or to Turkey's EU negotiations. On the basis of what we have stated above we consider that Sweden should recognise the 1915 genocide of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans, and Pontic Greeks. The Riksdag should announce this to the Government as its considered opinion.

We further consider that Sweden should act internationally in the framework of the EU and the UN to gain international recognition of the 1915 genocide of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans, and Pontic Greeks. The Riksdag should announce this to the Government as its considered opinion.

As long as countries like Sweden do not confront Turkey with the truth and the factual evidence available, Turkey will not be able to proceed any further on its path towards a more open society and better democracy, or fully develop its chances of membership in the EU. For this reason Sweden should act for Turkish recognition of the 1915 genocide of Armenians, Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks. The Riksdag should announce this to the Government as its considered opinion.

Stockholm, 2 October 2008
Hans Linde (Left)
Max Andersson (Green)
Esabelle Dingizian (Green)
Yilmaz Kerimo (Social Democrat)
Helena Leander (Green)
Lars Ohly (Left)
Mats Pertoft (Green)
Alice Åström (Left)
Bodil Ceballos (Green)
Annelie Enochson (Christian Democrat)
Kalle Larsson (Left)
Fredrik Malm (Liberal)
Nikos Papadopoulos (Social Democrat)
Lennart Sacr?deus (Christian Democrat)
Christopher ?dmann (Green)

The Swedish Parliament
100 12 Stockholm
Telephone: +46 8 786 40 00
Questions about the Riksdag
020-349 000 (national calls)
E-mail: riksdagsinformation@riksdagen.se


Tomahawk, Noord-brabant, Netherlands said...

In 1919 the Ottoman Empire had asked Spain, Holland, Denmark and Sweden to sent officials for a commission to investigate the relocation of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire:



Sweden refused:



(a less readable copy)

In 1919 they had the opportunity to investigate the matter. After their refusal, they have no right to condemn the Turks in 2010.

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