As the 106th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide approaches, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has written an open letter on behalf of Armenian-Australians calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to recognize the systematic persecution of 1.5 million Armenians, as well as over 1 million Assyrians and Greeks, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
In the letter, the 50,000 strong community urges the Prime Minister to uphold his own beliefs articulated in his speech to Parliament on 26th May 2011, when he said: "Today, as a member of this House, I join others in this place, and in parliaments around the world, to place on record that I believe the Armenian Genocide was one of the greatest crimes against humanity … it is important that we recognise the Armenian genocide for what it was."
This is in stark contrast to Scott Morrison’s most recent statements as Prime Minister, which have excluded the use of the word genocide.
“Now, is the time for Genocide recognition. The changing political climate on the Armenian Genocide issue in Australia and the positive steps towards Genocide recognition internationally, leads us to believe that now is the time.
Today, over 30 nations worldwide have now officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, including France, Germany, Canada and the United States of America. Yet, despite many of these nations standing on the right side of history, Australia continues to fall short of our allies footsteps, failing to formally recognize this brutal crime against humanity as what it was - a Genocide.
We believe that becoming Prime Minister shouldn’t compromise your own values and opinion and it shouldn’t compromise our Australian values standing up for human rights and standing on the right side of history”, the letter reads.
“We believe that now is the time given that you are not alone. We believe it is essential that the Prime Minister's statement reflects the will of our elected representatives in the Australian Parliament. Like countless nations around the world it is time we reject foreign threats and gag orders imposed by an authoritarian regime.
On behalf of the 50,000 Armenian-Australian's, we urge you to officially characterize the events of 1915 by their true name – Genocide”, stated in the letter.