During the course of a public hearing that took place on 6 April 2011, Argentinian Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide explained to the Armenian community in Buenos Aires the guidelines of the landmark resolution by which he declared that the Armenian Genocide was committed by the Turkish State.
“After 96 years of impunity Argentina is the first country in the world that produces a judicial resolution of this type, based on the principle of non prescription of crimes against humanity.”, said Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, head of the Luisa Hairabedian Foundation, plaintiff attorney in the case and grandson of Gregorio Hairabedian, the person who in 2000 filed the lawsuit for genocide in the name of the Armenian community in Argentina.
The resolution was hailed by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, an educational NGO devoted to promote the deeds of the Holocaust Saviors. “At the Wallenberg Foundation we guess that time is ripe to begin a new chapter of this tragic episode. We are willing to start a research work with the goal of identifying Turkish people who might have saved persecuted Armenians during the genocide.”, said Baruch Tenembaum founder of the New York based NGO.
Armenian Ambassador to Argentina Vladimir Karmirshalian stressed that Oyarbide’s sentence is a victory of justice in Argentina and a strong blow against the deniers of the Armenian genocide. “We are very excited and happy. We thank the Argentine Justice System and Judge Oyarbide.”, said the diplomat.
The event took place in the main hall of the “Sinarush Armenian Center” of Buenos Aires and was attended by an enthusiastic crowd of hundreds of people and broadcast by local and foreign media.
Oyarbide began his presentation thanking God for having used him “as a tool of justice”. He underlined that the ruling stands on an a immense amount of evidence and that the rationality of the genocide is based on Turkish territorial expansionism and religious reasons. “Death came as a result of hunger, thirst, exhaustion or sheer premeditation of the Turkish army,” he stressed.
The judge also informed about the exhortations sent to different countries and organizations around the world, such as Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Jordan, the Holy See and the United Nations, among others.
Selcuk Unal, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, described the sentence as “not serious”. “We condemn and reject this decision taken with complete disregard of the universal principles of law and ignoring international agreements.” said Unal.
Many international experts say the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I was genocide. Turkey maintains that far fewer died and that most deaths were to civil war and unrest, rather than genocide.
Read the full sentence in: www.genocidios.org