EP Foreign Affairs Committee states Armenian Genocide is a human rights issue
12 February: This week the Foreign Affairs standing committee of the European Parliament adopted its annual report on “human rights and democracy in the world” with several paragraphs related to Armenia. Most importantly, it underlines a clear approach towards genocides and genocide denials, among other issues.
“In particular, several new amendments voted by the committee refer to genocides as well as the 100 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and request that member states acknowledge it, asking them and the EU institutions to back its recognition”, explains Mr. Lorenzo Ochoa, Director of European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA, www.EuFoA.org).
Moreover, the committee pays special attention to human rights activists and people jailed for political reasons around the world. The report thus recommends the EU to be vigilant on this and other human rights issues when choosing third countries to establish partnership with. Likewise, it calls for a more systematic practice of raising human rights matters including the cases of the Sakharov Prize laureates and nominees and particularly during European officials’ visits to third countries.
The foreign affairs standing committee of the European Parliament included several paragraphs directly relevant for Armenia. Firstly, it stated that denials of genocides and other crimes against humanity should be condemned and defines them as a clear violation of fundamental freedoms and human rights. Moreover, it also adopted one amendment underlining the prosecution of Armenian, Yezidis and other minorities by the ISIS, calling the EU and its Member States to ensure their freedom.
“I am proud to say that we managed to raise awareness on these important matters and that the standing committee on foreign affairs acknowledges that these questions should also make part of the European Union’s policy on human rights and democracy” added EuFoA Director.
The text will be published in the coming weeks by the European Parliament and will be submitted to vote in the next plenary session .