“Almost 100 years ago the Ottoman Empire embarked on a wide-spread and systematic destruction of the Armenian people,” Armenian Prosecutor General said at the hearings on the case Perinçek v. Switzerland at the European Court of Human Rights.
“April 24 this year marks the centennial of that crime. On that day in 1915 in a planned and cynical manner they rounded up all key Armenian intellectuals, hundreds of writers, composers, artists, community leaders and exterminated them,” he said.
“The Armenian male population, including many in service in the Ottoman Army, was massacred. The women, elders and children were sent on death marches through the desert, where they starved, were tortured and raped,” the Prosecutor General added.
“Over half of the Armenian population was deliberately exterminated, a memory that has left sorrow in the hearts and minds of the Armenian people. Those who survived were ripped of everything they had – their family, property, cultural and spiritual heritage. Those, who stayed, were deprived of their identity as Armenians, they lived with changed names, forcefully converted in faith,” Mr. Kostanyan noted.
“The Armenian nation survived and overcame. It has never asked this Court to pronounce on the sufferings it has witnessed. But nor did it expect this Court to allow the deniers to find a safe haven in its pronouncements, which are already used for propaganda purposes of falsifying the history,” the Prosecutor General said.
According to him, Armenia’s role is to point to the principles, under which this case should be decided and to indicate the errors that affected the lower court judgment.
“We are here to ensure that such errors are never repeated by a Court that speaks in the name of human rights,” Gevord Kostanyan concluded.