Genocide Memorial Threatened Alert Issued

PARIS–In the wake of and intense round of political pressure from Turkish diplomats in the Netherlands–and fueled by growing anti-Armenian rhetoric from the Turkish government–the "Grey Wolves," a Turkish right-wing and racist organization–has threatened to destroy an Armenian Genocide memorial recently approved by the Assen municipality in the Netherlands.

A group linked to the Grey Wolves demonstrated recently in front of the Assen town hall–demanding that the municipal authorities rescind their authorization for the construction of the memorial. The group announced publicly–and for the record–that if the construction of the monument goes forward that they will destroy the memorial upon its completion.

The February 18th issue of the newspaper De Drents Courant reported that–"Turks in Assen have threatened to destroy the Armenian stone crucifix monument–once it is in place. The Turkish ambassador has stated that the monument could damage the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands."

Apparently–under these threats of violence–the Assen municipality’s official responsible for city monumen’s has declared that the city had authorized a monument commemorating Armenian deaths between 1910 and 1920–not necessarily a memorial indicating municipal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The European Delegation of the Armenian National Committee in an action alert urged all organizations and individuals who stand for human rights and against the denial of genocide to support the monument project in Assen. Specifically–the ANC-EU urged these groups and human rights advocates to write to Assen’s Mayor–Mrs D. Van As Kleijwegt–and encourage her not to give in to Turkish pressure and to ensure that the word "GENOCIDE" remains on the memorial.

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