STOCKHOLM—In a news article, published on April 25, the AzeriNews.az site made the sensational disclosure that the “Armenians’ planned protest in Sweden fails.” The scoop was verified with an image showing a seemingly empty Sergels Torg in Central Stockholm where the UASS had set up the exhibition posters for “Armenian Genocide and the Scandinavian Response” together with the flags of the countries who have recognized the genocide, a book stand, and more. The article can be found here.
The article, confidently citing the State Committee for Work with Diaspora of Azerbaijan, sates that “the protest didn’t take place due to the fact that no one came to participate in it.” However, the reporter of the news seems to have been so eager to send the article to Baku that she had showed up on site moments after the organizers set up the posters, the flags, the banners, the table with the information brochures, and books on the genocide early in the morning hours. Had she waited a few more minutes, she would have instead confirmed that the 2014 commemoration was one of the biggest and most diverse ever in the Swedish Armenian community’s history.
Thus, it is our pleasure to comfort the AzeriNews.az editorial board with the correct information along with some selected images of each activity: the commemoration program started with the gathering of several hundred protesters at Karlaplan (11 am) listening to divine service performed by Father Yeghise Avetisyan, before moving towards the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm and holding a rally until 2:30 pm. At the same time, the members of the clergy, together with the Armenian Ambassador and members of the UASS Board continued to the Skogskyrkogården Cemetery for the annual wreath-laying at the grave of the Swedish missionary Alma Johansson in the memory of her deeds in Western Armenia during and after the genocide. Then the party travelled to the Vantör Church in Stockholm where a concert was given to the memory of Komitas Vartapet (1 pm). At 4 pm, the main program begun when the rally returned from the Turkish Embassy while other protesters joined at the Sergels Torg to listen to a number of speakers, among others the Chairman of the UASS Board, Garlen Mansourian, the Armenian Ambassador, Artak Apitonian, The Vice Chairman of the Union of Assyrian Associations in Sweden, Tony Meshko, Father Yeghise Avetisyan, and Swedish Member of Parliament Hans Linde, Fredrik Malm, and Mats Pertoft. During the entire rally at Sergels Torg (11 am – 7 pm) a steady flow of passers-by visited the exhibition and the book and brochure stand, reading and enquiring about the genocide and its related events.
Along the commemoration activities in Stockholm, similar commemorations were held in the cities of Örebro, Linköping, Gothenbrug and Uppsala.