Legal procedures on Armenian Genocide issues brought to new level

14:18, 28 September, 2016

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. The legal procedures over the issues of the Armenian Genocide are brought to a new level, Chairman of the Board of the Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights (ALC) Kenneth Hachikian said, reports “Armenpress”.

The Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights is opened. It is a legal institute which will operate in the public interest and is dedicated to advancing sustainable solutions to the ongoing global, national, community, and individual costs and consequences of the Armenian Genocide.

“Today, when Turkey denies religious and human rights to the indigenous Armenians of present-day Turkey and attempts to silence the Diaspora communities around the world, the lack of accountability for the Genocide continues to grossly impact the human rights of Armenians”, Kenneth Hachikian said.

ALC Board member Kiro Manoyan said the Center will seek to coordinate the claims of victims of human rights abuses, identify potential claimants, investigate abuses, and gather the necessary evidence. 

“The works carried out by the Armenian National Committees are more of political nature. This center as a legal institute firstly collected the existing research, it will conduct new research as well to clarify what legal actions can be initiated. The works of the Center will be based on the examinations in order to see at what direction to move these legal acts”, Kiro Manoyan said.

He said there are various lawsuits both in the US and other states. The Center will follow also that procedures. He said the studies done so far show that the international law is not so perfect when it comes to correcting the past injustices.

“Currently we must concentrate on the courts of various states, including Turkey to see what can be initiated. There are precedents when Armenians have filed lawsuits in the Turkish courts and their right has been restored to some extent”, Manoyan said.

The ALC looks forward to working in concert with all quarters of the worldwide Armenian community. Parallel to its international and national level legal activity, the Center will focus on justice-based solutions to the vast array of collective properties and other assets stolen or confiscated during the Genocide, including those involving churches, religious sites, foundations, schools, museums, artwork, artifacts, books, and other resources.

Kate Nahapetian, an attorney with experience litigating class actions, who has advocated for Armenian Americans in Washington, DC for over ten years, will be ALC’s Executive Director. Ms. Nahapetian has worked previously for the Armenian National Committee of America, U.S. Department of Justice, then Senator Joseph Biden, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She received a J.D. with a focus on international and human rights law from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, which was partly funded through the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. ALC Board members are both from Armenia and the Armenian communities of Diaspora.

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