PRAGUE, Czech Republic (A.W.)— The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic—the lower house of the Czech Parliament—unanimously approved a resolution on April 25, condemning the Armenian Genocide as well as the genocide other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during WWI.
The resolution was proposed by Parliamentarian Robin Bönisch who is a member of the Social Democrat Party (CSSD) and the Head of the Czech-Armenian Friendship Group. “I think it was the Czech Republic’s debt to formally recognize the genocide. And because yesterday it was the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide, I think it was very symbolic to recognize the genocide of the Armenians today,” Bönisch said, according to a Public Radio of Armenia report.
The resolution, which passed unanimously (104/0) partly states:
“The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic condemns the crimes against humanity committed against the Jews, Roma and Slavs in the territories conquered by the Nazis during the Second World War; condemns the Armenian Genocide and genocides of other ethnic and religious minorities which took place within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, as well as genocidal acts committed in other parts of the globe, and calls on the international community to effectively halt human and civilian rights violations in the world as well as resolve disputes through peaceful means…”
“In reality, this is the first time that members of the Chamber of Deputies have used the word genocide,” European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD/Armenian National Committee of Europe) Communications Director Bedo Demirjian told the Armenian Weekly. “Now, the resolution has to pass the upper house and then be confirmed by the President,” added Demirjian.
According to Demirjian, Czech president Milos Zeman has always been a strong advocate for Armenian Genicide recognition. On the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the genocide, Zeman sent a letter to Archimandrite Barsegh Pilavchian, the spiritual leader of the Armenian community in the Czech Republic.
“I agree that history is not meant to be interpreted by politicians. At the same time, however, I believe that the events that cost 1.5 million innocent people represent a tragic chapter in the history of not only the Armenian nation but also of the entire civilized world,” read a part of the letter, according to Public Radio of Armenia.
Two years earlier, on April 14, 2015, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial.