Virginia Senate Panel Calls for April 24th Commemoration of Martyrs Day

RICHMOND–Va.–The Virginia Senate’s rule committee approved legislation today calling upon the Commonwealth to commemorate April 24th as Armenian Martyrs Day–but–under intense pressure from a lobbying campaign orchestrated by the Turkish government–fell short of approving stronger language–adopted unanimously this February in the House of Delegates–which condemns Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

The House of Delegates measure (HJ298) was spearheaded by Henrico County Delegate Eric Cantor and Warrenton Delegate Jay Katzen. It called for the designation of April 24–2000 as "Virginia Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923," and cited the fact that "revisionists still inexplicably deny the existence of these horrific events."

The Senate measure cites the murder of up to one and a half million Armenia’s and calls upon Virginians to remain vigilant against the recurrence of such atrocities–but neither identifies Ottoman Turkey’s extermination of the Armenia’s as a "genocide" nor condemns Turkey’s campaign to deny this crime against humanity.

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