Rep. Adam Schiff Expresses Support for ‘Fast for Remembrance’

WASHINGTON, LOS ANGELES–Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued a strong statement of support and solidarity Friday for the "Fast for Remembrance," a five-day protest fast, which began Tuesday at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles, and is organized by the Armenian Youth Federation and United Human Rights Council. "I stand with the Armenian Youth Federation and the United Human Rights Council’s efforts to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide through a fast in front of the Los Angeles Turkish Consulate. Turkey must acknowledge the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire nine decades ago. We as a nation must also acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and I will soon introduce a resolution in the House that will honor the victims and put the Congress on the record. I am hopeful that with new leadership in Congress we can finally get it passed," stated Schiff in his announcement. Participating in the fast are 19 members of the AYF and UNRC, most of college students, who opted to spend their holiday break voicing opposition to Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide. One of the fast organizers Vatche Tovmassian explained that the purpose of "Hunger for Justice" was to send a message to Armenia’s and the entire world that the pursuing the Armenian Genocide issue should not be limited to April 24 only and it should become an everyday concern for every Armenian. Passers by have, with great interest, accepted informative flyers being distributed by the fasters. One of the two flyers provided the historical background of the Genocide and the other delineated steps that people can take toward the international recognition of the Genocide as a precondition to prevent other such crimes against humanity. Fasters also attempted to deliver a letter to the Turkish Consulate officials, but were "politely" turned away. The police have been keeping a watchful eye on the protesters, but at night made them to relocate from the Consulate grounds, citing that the building was private property, forcing the protesters to continue the fast on the sidewalk. A physician examined all participants, who were told that the fast was not posing any health risks. One participant ended the fast at the physician’s insistence. Friends, family members and community supporters converge at the site of the protest every night to express their support and solidarity with the fasters. The fasters are: Narbeh Abulian, Shagighik Atakhanian, Patyl Aslanian, Shogher Aslanian, Soseh Ismaelian, Talin Mardirossian, Narine Melkonian, Berdj Parseghian, Areg Santikian, Avo Shanlian, Sanan Shirinian, Vatche Soghomonian, Razmig Tovman’sian, Vatche Tovmassian, Tamar Yardemian and Chris Yemenedjian.

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