PARIS (Armenpress)–Authorities have opened a criminal case into the recent attack on a group of Armenia’s in Valence–France. Five Armenia’s were at the Valence Town Hall on November 28 distributing leaflets against Turkish entry to the EU–when they were confronted by a group of angry Turks who destroyed their stand and began throwing bottles. Four of the five were hospitalized.
According to eyewitnesses–the incident was followed by a second wave of attacks by an even larger mob of Turks–some of whom were shouting "our grandparents massacred you and we will continue."
Commenting on the incident–Armenian Ambassador to France Edward Nalbandian said that the assailants should be liable not only for any physical damages–but also for psychological trauma caused by their act. "French citizens of Turkish origin have violated a French law that recognizes the right of its citizens to free expression of their opinions," he said.
Echoing the outcry of the Armenian community–numerous members of the French parliament quickly condemned the attacks.
Shortly after the event–Valence Deputy Mayor Nubar Keshishian helped initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible for the violence.
Armenia’s in Valence have decided to stage a protest in response to the incident. Protesters will march from Town Hall to the monument erected in the memory of the victims of the 1915 genocide against the Ottoman-Armenia’s.
Valence is home to approximately 12,000 Armenia’s and 2,000-3,000 Turks.