French Interior Minister Calls Desecration of Armenian Memorial ‘Unacceptable’

(Nouvel Obs)–French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his indignation Wednesday at the desecration of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Lyon. The memorial–which is to be unveiled on April 24–was vandalized Monday with revisionist inscriptions that read–"There was no genocide."

Sarkozy called the incident "unacceptable" and said that its authors "must be severely punished by the justice of our country."

He assured the Armenian community that France stands in solidarity with them. He said that "the Republic expressed herself with force–by the law of January 29–2001–according to which France recognizes publicly the Armenian genocide of 1915."

So–said the Interior Minister–"The authorities of the Republic will not accept that the law is scoffed."

Two Armenian organizations in France–the Committee for the Defense of the Armenian Cause (CDCA) and the Council of Armenian Organizations in France–raised their concerns about the incident and demanded that those responsible be apprehended and adequately charged.

The CDCA also demanded that extra measures be taken to ensure the safety of the Memorial’s inauguration and Genocide commemoration on April 24–which will be attended by French President Jacques Chirac.

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