A History of Armenia mural in Glendale, California / via flickr.com/cwsteeds

A History of Armenia mural in Glendale, California / via flickr.com/cwsteeds

New & Views (Jan 23, 2012)

by | January 23rd, 2012 | 0 comments
Print Print
about the author Bryon

See more articles by

News & Views is a weekly summary of some of the week’s most important stories, links and material of interest to Ararat readers.

— The French senate has just passed the bill that would decriminalize Armenian Genocide denial in France. Here are some of the first English-language news sources to report on the news:

— ”BREAKING NEWS: French Senate Passes Bill Criminalizing Armenian Genocide Denial” (Armenian Weekly)
— ”French senate backs Armenia genocide bill” (Reuters)
— ”French senate passes ‘Armenian genocide’ bill” (Al Jazeera)

— This past week was the five year anniversary of the death of journalist Hrant Dink. The Armenian journalist was shot dead in front of the Agos newspaper offices by a Turkish ultranationalist.

Last week, the Turkish courts convicted the man responsible for Dink’s death, along with two other people, but they also acquitted 19 people, who were charged with being part of a criminal organization that was behind the killing.

In response to the verdict, which Dink supporter dismiss as not going far enough, tens of thousands marched outside the courthouse in Istanbul on Tuesday, January 17. Many of the protesters carried signs that read, “This case won’t end this way.” Other signs read, “We are all Hrant, we are all Armenians.” Euronews puts the number of protesters at 50,000, while BBC reports the crowd numbers at least 20,000.

Voice of America spoke to the Turkish representative of US-based Human Rights Watch, Emma Sinclair Webb, said the court’s decision delivered a ominous message:

“If you are an Armenian journalist in Turkey, you can be murdered, and your killers who are deeply connected with the state will somehow not be investigated for their links with the state … And the state authorities will not be held to account. That is the message this case gives. And more broadly, the case comes in [a] climate of clamp-down on the government oppositionists and imprisonment of particularly Kurdish journalists.”

The Armenian Weekly reports that a plaque has been installed  ”on one of the cobblestones of the Agos building in Istanbul. It read, ‘Hrant Dink was murdered here, January 19, 2007, at 15:05.’”

— “A leading international watchdog has accused the European Union and the Council of Europe of unduly softening their criticism of human right abuses in Armenia.” (Azatutyun.am)

— A recent survey in Glendale, California, suggests that Armenians and other communities caste their ballots in racial and cultural blocks. Here are some of the findings:

Analysis of support for non-Armenian white candidates in the 2005 city council race show that the Latino and Armenian voters supported non-Armenian white candidates at a rate of just 6%, Shigetani said.

… Armenian candidates for Glendale Community College Board of Trustees, Vahe Peroomian and Vartan Gharpetian, drew 86% of votes among Armenian voters, showing that Armenians tend to vote as a block for Armenian candidates, Shigetani said

Related: “The ANCA North and West San Fernando Valley Chapters, along with the ANCA Hollywood Chapter, organized the Armenian American communities of their respective areas to make a strong presence at the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission hearings earlier this month.” (Armenian Reporter)

— You can now watch the Armenian genocide documentary we mentioned last week, “Grandma’s Tattoos,” online. It tells the story of how some women survived the horrors of 1915, and it was broadcast on Al Jazeera two weeks ago.

— In response to France’s attempts to criminalize Armenian Genocide denial, Turkey often claims that France itself is guilty of genocide in Algeria during the 1940s and 50s. It appears Algeria doesn’t want to be used as a political pawn by other states. The Voice of Russia reports:

In response, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia urged Turkey to stop trying to make political capital out of France’s killing of thousands of Algerians during the colonial period.

— This may be more foul mouthed than the other content we post on Ararat but the “Sh*t ___ Says” meme is prevalent across the Internet and has inspired a whole series of videos, including a healthy crop of Armenian versions that include what Armenian moms, girls, Armenians in general, and animals say.

*   *   *

News & Views is published every Monday afternoon EST. It is a summary of the week’s most interesting, provocatiove and thought-provoking links to articles, videos, photos and commentary of interest to the readers of Ararat.