January 16, 2013 |
Sporadic sniper fire over sandbagged trenches that separate Armenians and Azerbaijanis across the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh has been a routine feature of daily life throughout the 19 years that the two sides have grudgingly observed a cease-fire. But the harassing potshots and provocative power plays have taken on a more ominous feel in recent weeks as pressure mounts on both sides of the “frozen conflict” for uncompromised victory in one of the world's most bitter armed standoffs.
April 4, 2012 |
Just before noon on a December morning in 1988, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook over 40% of the territory of Armenia, centered in the northern city of Spitak. The temblor leveled entire towns and cities, killed an estimated 25,000 Armenians - two-thirds of them children trapped and crushed in their crumbling schools - and hastened the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of which Armenia was then a part. But the Spitak disaster was more than a geopolitical milestone. The earthquake was, in the words of one researcher, a "psychiatric calamity" that has yielded a trove of knowledge aboutpost-traumatic stress disorder.
March 10, 2012
In a March 5 editorial , The Times opposed a bill in the French parliament that would have made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. The bill was proposed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, then struck down byFrance's Constitutional Council. Now Sarkozy says he wants to revive it. Reader Berj Proodian wrote suggesting that The Times may have been hypocritical on the subject: "In the past year, the L.A. Times has printed [several] editorials condemning France's law against denying the Armenian genocide.
March 5, 2012
If you live in a country that truly values free speech, then no matter what opinion you hold - whether it's rational or irrational - you have the right to voice it. You can deny the Holocaust happened, or that men walked on the moon, without fear that you will be brought up on criminal charges. (Of course, you still risk public rebuke or humiliation from people who hold the opinion that you are ridiculous.) That freedom is generally considered a fundamental human right. So it was reassuring when France's Constitutional Council last week struck down a proposed law that would have criminalized the denial or minimizing of the genocide of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2012 |
Survivors of Armenian genocide victims can't sue German insurance companies for failing to pay claims because only the federal government can bring foreign entities to court, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The 11-judge panel dismissed the case brought nearly a decade ago by Southern California Armenians, probably putting an end to their efforts to compel the German companies to pay survivors' benefits on policies sold to victims between 1875 and 1923. A 2000 revision to California's Civil Code allowed California courts to consider the Armenians' insurance claims beyond the deadline for petitioning for payouts by subsidiaries of the German insurance company now known as Munich Re. "The Constitution gives the federal government the exclusive authority to administer foreign affairs," the appeals court said in a unanimous ruling.
January 31, 2012
The genocide issue Re "Genocide bill riles Turkey," Jan. 28 The Armenian genocide question will not go away in France or in Turkey until the genocide is recorded, recognized and honored with dignity in Turkey. Getting to this point has taken nearly 100 years of parrying Turkish opinion that the killing of more than 1 million Armenians starting in 1915 does not meet the legal standard of genocide - intent to exterminate a race or a group - although many historians agree it does.
January 27, 2012 |
The object of the game is to see how hard a hand on the computer screen can slap a cartoon image of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It made its debut only hours after the French Senate passed legislation Monday that would criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide. That bill has caused a furor in Turkey, further damaging a relationship chilled by Sarkozy's staunch opposition to Turkey's long-standing bid for membership in the European Union. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared it racist and a "massacre of free thought.
January 19, 2012 |
On Monday, the French Senate is scheduled to debate and possibly vote on a bill that would criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide of 1915, along with any other events recognized as genocide in French law. The bill has passed the lower house of Parliament. The Senate should reject it, in the name of free speech, the freedom of historical inquiry and Article 11 of France's pathbreaking 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen ("The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious rights.…")
December 25, 2011 |
REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- Israeli lawmakers plan to discuss the possibility of setting a day to commemorate the Armenian genocide of 1915-18. But the initiative is causing tension ahead of the discussion, scheduled for Monday, because of concerns over the reaction by Turkey, which denies a genocide took place. Until now, similar commemoration proposals have been referred to parliamentary committees that meet behind closed doors. This will be the first time the subject will be discussed at a committee whose meetings are public.
December 24, 2011
Should people have the right to deny historical fact? The Times' editorial board thinks so, writing on Dec. 21 that a proposed law in France to criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide would be a "monstrous violation of free speech. " Reader Janet Gross of Los Angeles took issue with the editorial board's view that genocide denial is an opinion worthy of free-speech protection: "The right to the opinion that the Armenian genocide in 1915 perpetrated by the Turks never happened should be protected?