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Statements

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Statement on the Genocidal State of Azerbaijan Hosting COP29

June 4, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention opposes the decision by the United Nations to name Azerbaijan as host of COP29, the annual UN climate change summit, given Azerbaijan’s genocidal strategies in Nagorno-Karabakh, the genocidal Armenophobic ideology of its leader, President Ilham Aliyev, and the extensive corruption and human rights abuses at home. By granting Azerbaijan the honor of hosting this important event, the UN is endorsing genocidal speech, genocidal policies, and dictatorship, which benefits neither the climate nor the people of the world. The choice of Azerbaijan as COP host legitimizes, rationalizes, and normalizes genocide in world politics. Furthermore, it threatens the credibility of the principles established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the interests of genocide prevention, human rights, and the legitimacy of the United Nations as a body representing the people of the world, the United Nations must rescind Azerbaijan’s recognition as host of COP29 and either find another host country or hold this year’s meeting in Bonn, Germany, COP’s default meeting place.

Դատապարտող հայտարարություն Վարչապետ Նիկոլ Փաշինյանի ծածուկ ներգրավվածությունը ցեղասպանության ժխտողական քաղաքականության մեջ

Մայիսի 14, 2024

Արցախյան ցեղասպանության արդյունքում ստեղծված իրավիճակում՝ Լեմկինի ինստիտուտը շարունակում է հավատարիմ մնալ իր ներգրավվածությանը Հարավային Կովկասում ցեղասպանության ակտիվ կանխարգելման աշխատանքներում՝ միաժամանակ հանձն առնելով առաջ քաշել արդարության և հաշվետվողականության սկզբունքներ:
Թեև մենք, որպես կանոն, չենք խառնվում պետությունների ներքին գործերին, քանի դեռ չկա ցեղասպանության ուղիղ վտանգ, մենք անհրաժեշտ ենք համարում բարձրաձայնելու մեր մտահոգությունները, որոնք բխում են ՀՀ վարչապետ Նիկոլ Փաշինյանի վերջին հայտարարություններից, որոնք, ըստ ամենայնի, շեղվում են ցեղասպանությունների կանխարգելման, ճանաչման, և անցումային արդարադատության հիմնարար սկզբունքներից, և որոնք ուղղակիորեն առնչվում են Հայաստանի Հանրապետության ազգային անվտանգության խնդիրներին։

Statement Condemning Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's Cryptic Engagement with Genocide Denial

May 10, 2024

In the wake of the Artsakh genocide, the Lemkin Institute remains committed to engaging in active prevention work in the South Caucasus while advocating for justice and accountability. While we do not generally involve ourselves in domestic affairs of states unless there is an internal threat of genocide, we must address concerns stemming from recent statements made by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan that appear to diverge from fundamental principles of genocide prevention, genocide recognition, and transitional justice, and that directly relate to issues of Armenian national security.

We are particularly perplexed and alarmed by aspects of Prime Minister Pashinyan's commemorative statement on 24 April 2024 (Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day), as well as a recent interview with Pashinyan’s associate Hovik Aghazaryan questioning Armenia's legal basis to pursue justice against Türkiye, and discussions led by Civil Contract party member and parliamentarian Andranik Kocharyan about compiling a list of genocide victims.

Statement in Support of Students, Faulty at Columbia University

April 29, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention expresses solidarity with the students and faculty at Columbia University who are standing up against genocide and for prevention, peace-building, and freedom of speech. We remind the leadership of the United States, including university presidents, that the freedoms of speech and assembly are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution and have been a shining light in the country’s contribution to human history. In the spirit of the US Constitution, universities – even private ones – should embrace differences of opinion and especially protect the expression of opinions that are unpopular among power holders. Retaliating against students for peacefully protesting genocide is an assault not only on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, but also on the rules-based order established after 1945 and championed by the United States, which codified within international law a moral responsibility to prevent genocide.

Statement Condemning Pogroms by Israeli Settlers in the West Bank

April 25, 2024

On Friday, April 12th, hundreds of armed Israeli settlers violently attacked Al-Mughayyir, East of Ramallah, in the West Bank. According to the head of the village council, Amin Abu-Alia, around midday, 1,000-1,2000 settlers narrowed in on Al-Mughayyir, blocking the surrounding roads. Then, up to 600 “stormed” the Al-Mughayyir village, attacking its Palestinian inhabitants. This attack falls within an ongoing trend of settler violence in the West Bank — last year, hundreds of settlers also violently attacked Turmusayya and Huwara.

Statement on the Western Media Narrative Regarding Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

April 14, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention condemns the misleading framing in the western media’s coverage of Israel’s bombardment and genocide of the Palestinian people. Since this latest cycle of attacks on Gaza began in October 2023, the narrative most prominent in western media has been that Israel is exercising its right to self-defense. There has been little analysis of what the right to self-defense allows and little challenge of Israel’s justifications for the IDF’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas or its responsibility for humanitarian crises, including famine and water shortages throughout the enclave. Although this spin is beginning to shift with the recent apparent targeted killing of international humanitarian workers employed by World Central Kitchen, the Lemkin Institute views the cause for this shift to be indicative of the broader failure of Western journalism to provide an accurate picture of what is happening in Israel-Palestine.

Statement in Support of Rohingya Pleas for Immediate UN Peacekeeping Intervention

April 10, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention underscores and amplifies the recent plea from Rohingya survivors to intervene immediately in Rakhine State/Arakan (Myanmar) to counteract intensifying civilian harm and interdict a return to active genocide against the Rohingya people by the Myanmarese military government and regional forces. This Lemkin Institute statement follows Secretary-General António Guterres’s recognition that increased violence necessitates further “sustained international and regional attention,” including coordination with regional actors such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. We note that Rohingya survivors have also appealed to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and European Union for protection.

Statement on the Rise of the Grey Wolves Terrorist Organization in Belgium

March 30, 2024

On Sunday evening, Limburg, Belgium, witnessed distressing altercations between individuals of Syrian-Kurdish origin and members of the Turkish community in Heusden-Zolder and Houthalen-Helchteren. These clashes inflicted severe injuries on at least one person, while five others sustained minor wounds. The gravity of the situation intensified when hundreds of Turks targeted a house of Kurdish families in Heusden-Zolder, launching attacks that included attempts to set the dwelling ablaze, shattering windows, and shouting religious slogans. Such egregious acts resulted in several casualties. Two people were left critically injured. Shockingly, the attackers even used the 'wolf salute,’ a symbol and gesture synonymous with the Turkish Grey Wolves far-right paramilitary organization.

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention calls on all European Union members, as well as the USA, to ban the Grey Wolves as a terrorist group. It is imperative that all forms of organizing, promoting hatred and discrimination against minority groups, including the Kurdish community, are swiftly and decisively addressed by state authorities. The promotion of xenophobic ideologies and the incitement of violence against marginalized communities have no place in any democratic society. As such, the Lemkin Institute calls upon law enforcement agencies and policymakers to prioritize investigating and prosecuting individuals and groups responsible for perpetuating such heinous acts, including the Grey Wolves.

Six Months since the Artsakh Genocide

March 27, 2024

It has now been six months since the Artsakh Genocide. For half a year, the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has grappled with the harsh reality of displacement amid global apathy and unpredictability. They live in harsh conditions in Armenia, international aid has been slow and meager, and many are migrating to Russia and other countries far away from their homeland.

Failing to acknowledge the Artsakh genocide and refraining from holding Azerbaijan accountable for its atrocities not only neglects the responsibility to safeguard and facilitate the safe return of Artsakh Armenians, but also sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to the recurrence of similar tragedies in the South Caucasus as well as further afield. By turning a blind eye to such atrocities, we risk perpetuating historical injustices and potentially facing similar tragedies within other Armenian communities, like those in Syunik or Tavush. Thus, advocating for recognition, accountability, and protection is crucial not only for justice in the present but also in the future, and it helps ensure the protection of all vulnerable populations worldwide.

Statement on the Self-Immolation of Airman Aaron Bushnell

March 27, 2024

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention wishes to honor the memory of Aaron Bushnell, who took his own life in February in protest of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. We express our deepest condolences to his friends and family. His sacrifice will be remembered as an action taken by a very moral soul in the face of the world’s gravest crime. While we do not advocate for protest that mortally imperils those demonstrating, we honor the commitment to opposing genocide and the moral clarity of those who have engaged in acts of protest.

The Lemkin Insitute will honor the life, and death, of Aaron Bushnell in our commitment to the fight to end genocide, whether it be in Gaza, Sudan, Ukraine, Myanmar, or Armenia. In our rememberance of Airman Bushnell we ask that his words be taken to heart, and that we all reflect on our possible complicity in genocide.

Statement on the Continued Imprisonment of Armenian Officials and Civilians of the Republic of the Artsakh by the Republic of Azerbaijan

March 23, 2024 – The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention (Lemkin Institute) energetically condemns the continued and unlawful imprisonment of Armenian officials and civilians of the Republic of Artsakh (Artsakh) by the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan). Given the high risk of serious violations of human rights against these individuals, including the loss of life, the need for a strong international presence has never been more urgent. Consequently, the Lemkin Institute calls on the international community to take necessary steps to secure the prompt and safe repatriation of all Armenian prisoners of war (POWs), officials, and civilians held hostage in Azerbaijan.

Statement in Support of Owasso High School Students

March 8, 2024

In line with our call to stand in uncompromising solidarity with those under threat of genocide, and those fighting against the scourges of bigotry and hate, the Lemkin Institute praises, uplifts, and honors the courageous students of Owasso High School in Oklahoma for their stand against anti-trans hate

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