Commenting on Sunday’s 101st anniversary of Turkey’s arrest of minority community leaders setting in motion a campaign of systematic slaughter that had left 1.5 million Christian Armenians dead by the early 1920s, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said the massacres of past remind him of the ones committed today.
During a LF ceremony marking the genocide Geagea said: “The massacres of the past remind us of the ones being committed today and the international community must intervene to thwart them.”
“The East is not being slaughtered by the butchers alone, but also by those who remain silent over injustice,” he added.
“We are living in a time when the butcher is allowed to commit his massacres and get away with murder,” he said in an indirect reference to the Syrian regime of president Bashar al Assad and the war that has been taking place in neighboring Syria since 2011, which resulted in the killing of about half a million people.
“If the Armenian genocide was unacceptable at the turn of the century then it is even more unacceptable now hundred years since the genocide was first committed,” Geagea said.
He noted that at the beginning of the 20th century, the United Nations, International Criminal Court, and human rights charter did not exist to defend people.
“Now despite their existence, they have not stopped massacres from being committed,” lamented the F chief.
What took place in the past against the Armenian people is happening again today and will recur in the future, he warned.
“Achieving justice to the Armenian people will pave the way for justice for people in the region.
“We must combat this evil with courage through remembrance and confronting current genocides.” He added
“Do we surrender to barbarism? Never. The genocide pushes us to never surrender and our future is bound to be bright and prosperous,” stressed Geagea.
About 20 countries have recognized the Turkish massacres of Armenians as a Genocide as well as the European Parliament. But Turkey rejects the claims, arguing that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.