Topalian Charged With Pursuing Armenian Cause Through Use of Force

Asbarez was informed that last Thursday–October 14–a federal grand jury in Cleveland–Ohio indicted Armenian-American political activist Mourad Topalian on charges of allegedly attempting to draw attention to the Armenian Genocide through the use of force; a charge which contradicts Mourad Topalian’s professional and political activities in the last several decades.

For years Mourad Topalian has been the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Below is the statement issued Tuesday by the ANCA regarding the aforementioned issue:

Statement Of The Armenian National Committee of America

Today–Mr. Mourad Topalian relinquished his responsibilities as Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America. Mr. Topalian had made the request after informing the Board of Directors of his need to devote his full attention to the recent developmen’s stemming from the charges against him. Mr. Topalian had advised the Board that his pending legal matter would detract from his ability to advance the many pressing political issues of concern to the Armenian American community.

The Board recognizes Mr. Topalian’s immense contribution to the growth of Armenian American political advocacy and his dedication to the Armenian Cause. The Board notes–in particular–his key role in national grassroots organizing and in helping to empower Armenian Americans to play a dramatically increased role in America’s political and electoral life. The Board looks forward to continuing to benefit from Mr. Topalian’s experience on the many challenges facing the Armenian American community.

Executive Director Aram Hamparian has been appointed by the Board to serve as Acting Chairman pending a decision to fill the chairman’s position.

The Board reaffirms the ANCA’s commitment to the enduring values–shared goals–and unrealized aspirations of the Armenian nation. The ANCA looks forward to joining with all Armenian Americans–both individually and through the organizations they serve–in building on our community’s progress toward official US recognition of the Genocide–justice for the Armenian people–and the victory of the Armenian Cause. We look forward–as well–to ensuring that the United States meets its moral responsibility to support Armenia’s progress toward a secure–democratic–and prosperous future–and stands with the people of Nagorno Karabakh as they seek to secure for themselves the same inalienable rights to freedom and self-determination enjoyed by American citizens.

The Board once again stresses that the ANCA will–as always–stand for the rights of the Armenian American community and will oppose any attempt to interfere with the free exercise of these rights.

Washington–DC

October 19–1999

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