Geoffrey Robertson Launches Book on Armenian Genocide
'An Inconvenient Genocide' by Geoffrey Robertson Q.C.
CANBERRA, Australia—The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) reports that leading human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC, will be launching his latest publication at the National Press Club in Canberra.
“An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians,” published by Random House, is a groundbreaking publication where Geoffrey Robertson presents a compelling argument based on fact, evidence and his knowledge and expertise of international law, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the horrific events that occurred in 1915 do indeed constitute genocide.
Robertson is a leading human rights lawyer and a UN war-crimes judge. He has been Counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of people facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. Robertson is the Head of Doughty Street Chambers, a Master of the Middle Temple, a Recorder and visiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London.
This event, which is being held at one of the most prestigious events in Australia, coincides with the start of ANC Australia’s Advocacy Week in Canberra.
Robertson’s research and publications on the Armenian Genocide have been instrumental in shifting the denialist policy, which had been adopted for many years by the United Kingdom.
Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, Vache Kahramanian remarked: “The launch of Mr. Robertson’s latest publication will go a long way in altering the position adopted by the Australian Government on the Armenian Genocide.”
The Armenian National Committee of Australia has been working with Geoffrey Robertson’s international team on the promotion of his latest publication.
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Geoffrey Robertson: is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the UK’s leading human rights practice, which comprises some 80 barristers and 30 staff. He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple; and a Recorder (part-time judge) in London; an executive Member of Justice, and a trustee of the Capital Cases Trust. He is visiting Professor in Human Rights at Queen Mary College, University of London. He lives in London with his wife, author Kathy Lette, and their two children.
In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared.
The Ottoman Empire was ruled by the Turks who had conquered lands extending across West Asia, North Africa and Southeast Europe. The Ottoman government was centered in Istanbul (Constantinople) and was headed by a sultan who was vested with absolute power. The Turks practiced Islam and were a martial people. The Armenians, a Christian minority, lived as second class citizens subject to legal restrictions which denied them normal safeguards. Neither their lives nor their properties were guaranteed security. As non-Muslims they were also obligated to pay discriminatory taxes and denied participation in government.
Scattered across the empire, the status of the Armenians was further complicated by the fact that the territory of historic Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Russians.
"Geoffrey Robertson declares massacre genocide", www.thewest.au.com , by ELAINE FRY, November 25, 2014.
Geoffrey Robertson declares massacre genocideINTERNATIONAL LAW SAYS IT IS NO GENOCIDE
ELAINE FRY November 25, 2014,
Geoffrey Robertson will visit WA for the February 19-22 Perth Writers Festival Geoffrey Robertson will visit WA for the February 19-22 Perth Writers Festival
Eminent human rights lawyer and QC Geoffrey Robertson's latest book, An Inconvenient Genocide, draws attention to an important issue that still needs to be addressed: the recognition of the massacre of about one million Armenians on the eve of the Gallipoli landings as "genocide".
"Truth is important - it is important to tell it if people are still suffering from a lie - and Armenians are still suffering from the world's failure to do something about the genocide that had taken place in 1915," Robertson says.
Next year will be the centenary of both the Armenian genocide and the Gallipoli landings. Robertson feels that these significant anniversaries, on consecutive days, April 24 and 25 respectively, should be the perfect opportunity for all nations to acknowledge, and for Turkey to admit, that the Armenian genocide had taken place and for atonement to be made.
There is divided opinion since its occurrence as to whether it could be called a "genocide". It is widely believed that some one million Armenians were killed during this period. But Turkey, justifying the actions of its predecessor in government, the Ottoman Empire, is adamantly against the use of the G-word.
Robertson, who served as the first president of the UN War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone, feels it that an admission to the Armenian Genocide would "give hope that both Armenia and Turkey could move on". He cannot see why there should be a problem with this positive step. "Modern Turkey is a different nation (to the Ottoman Empire). The actions of the past are not a reflection of the modern Turkish nation. It is possible for nations to rise above the crimes of the past."
In his book, Robertson presents one of the great hypotheticals - "Whether the Holocaust would have happened, had the International Criminal Courts promised at Versailles and Sevres for the Kaiser and his generals and for Talaat and his accomplices eventuated in 1921. At least Hitler would not in 1939 have said, "Who now remembers the Armenians?"
Well, thankfully, Geoffrey Robertson does. As he puts it, "The importance of acknowledging guilt of a crime against humanity, even as long as a century later, is that denialism emboldens others to think they can get away with mass murder of civilians whenever it is expedient in wartime.
"International law sets a bottom line: whether Sunni or Shia, Hindu or Christian, whether Chechen, Tamil or Bengali or an indigenous people striving for independence, the deliberate destruction of any part of that race or religion by those in control of a state cannot be countenanced."
I read with interest the article on Geoffrey Robertson and his belief that the recognition of the massacre of about one million Armenians on the eve of the Gallipoli landings as "genocide". While I respect his conviction, I am afraid personal feelings and convictions are not sufficient to justify demonizing an entire country and its people with the most serious crime of genocide. I am thankful that we have another inconvenient truth that is called "law" to stop lynch mobs all of whom are known to have similarly strong convictions.
The United Nations 1948 Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide provides the definition of genocide and stipulates that genocide charges can only be litigated at a "competent tribunal" which shall follow "due process" to prove "intent to destroy." Such was never done in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict and no court verdict exists saying it is genocide. To call it one anyway would be defrauding the unsuspecting public that there is a genocide verdict when we all know that there is not. So calling it genocide would be a fraud.
In a landmark decision, The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unequivocally supported the above position in its Dec 17, 2013 verdict on Perincek vs Switzerland that "[t]he existence of a 'genocide', which was a precisely defined legal concept, was not easy to prove". The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) added: "doubted that there could be a general consensus… given that historical research was, by definition, open to discussion and a matter of debate, without necessarily giving rise to final conclusions or to the assertion of objective and absolute truths". Thus, the ECHR created a legal precedent of inadmissibility of any comparison between the Holocaust and the Armenian claims; the latter lacks what the former clearly has: concrete historical facts, clear legal basis, and existence of the "acts had been found by an international court to be clearly established". Let the facts speak for themselves.
The Jewish Holocaust is a court-proven genocide and there is a competent tribunal that went through due process to prove intent to exterminate. Remember Nuremberg? Where is the Armenian Nuremberg? To call 1915 a genocide would be to equate "official" Armenian narrative to real Jewish experience. It would be an insult to the silent memory of six million Jews who were killed just for being Jews. Whereas Armenians resorted to terrorism (1862-1922,) revolts (1882-1920,) and treason (1878-1920) and caused 519,000 Turks and other Muslims to meet their tragic ends at the hands of Armenian revolutionaries. Jews did not do any of those heinous acts in 1930s or 1940s. So how can any decent human being measure the two events by the same yardstick: genocide ? That is why the UN, the US, the UK, Australia, Israel, Sweden and many other countries do not accept the useof the term genocide to describe the Turkish-Armenian conflict.
Armenian Genocide is an oft-repeated fallacy and a long-discredited political claim promoted by Armenians and others who have only been exposed to the official Armenian narrative during their upbringing and education. These people, for example, can never explain a photo like this (see www.ethocide.com) where Armenian cadets at the Armenian Military Academy , established in 1906 in Bulgaria, arrogantly brandish their Russian-made Mosin weapons. They cannot because they have never heard about the Armenian Military Academy in Bulgaria whose cadets practiced their art of killing on my grandparents in the village of KIRLIKOVA. They cannot because they have never heard terms like Dashnaks, Hunchaks, Armenakans, Ramgavar, Nemesis, and more, names of Armenian terrorist gangs, who, collectively, killed 519,000 Turks and other Muslims during WWI.
I am the son of Turkish survivors from both paternal and maternal sides. My father was the sole survivor of the village of KIRLIKOVA--hence my family name--where the entire Turkish population of the village and the four neighboring Turkish villages were exterminated by Bulgarian and Greek irregulars, helped by Ottoman-Armenian cadets from the Armenian military academy nearby (www.ethocide.com .) So where is my pain in the alleged Armenian genocide narration ?
Armenians took up arms against their own government; killed their Muslim, mostly Turkish, neighbors and other fellow Ottoman citizens, even Ottoman Jews. Armenians joined the invading enemy (Russian, French, British, and Greek) armies. Turks defended their home against a serious military threat posed by the Armenian insurgency at a time of brutal multiple foreign invasions. The measure the Turks took to mitigate the Armenian threat was TERESET (TEmporary RESETtlement order of May 31, 1915) of those in the Armenian community that supported the Armenian insurgency, directly or indirectly, not wholesale massacre like in allies did during WWII in Dresden, Nagasaki, or Hiroshima.
This fact was well articulated as follows by a Christian missionary, George M. Lamsa, in his book The Secret of the Near East, (The Ideal Press, Philadelphia 1923, p 133: )
"…In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses, it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem, and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed, and the bishop killed. It is a well- known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies…."
Next year, 2015 provides an opportunity to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the first and last "Gentlemen's War", the Dardanelles Campaign, fought mostly between Turks and the ANZACs, where violence and bloodshed had an unusual byproduct: mutual respect and lasting friendship. Please, let's not stain its magnificent memory with fraudulent claims of Armenian Genocide.
Son of Turkish Survivors From Both Paternal & Maternal Sides
Open Letter and call to ABC TV programmers by Sukru Server Aya: