Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Saturday, 24 April 2021
April 24: Crime and accountability!
This very painful humane clift will undoubtedly remain engraved in the individual and collective memory of mankind for generations to come.

Dr. Michel E. Abs, MECC secretary general :

For a hundred and six years, the Armenian people remembered the attempt of extermination that they were subjected to at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.


A secure, peaceful and creative people who suddenly found themselves in a state of lethality and homelessness.


They suffered a sudden turnover of fate that befell them in the form of a heavily armed military attack commanded by a state that was described as a sick man who wants to do harm as much as possible before his hour arrives.


Every day, the world press and research sites inform us of new discoveries, including documents, photos and narratives, about an era which suffered the first stage of ethnic cleansing in modern history. The massacres of the Armenians coincided with the massacres of the Syriacs, the Chaldeans, and the Assyrians, in addition to the Anatolians, all of whom were Christians as well. According to the statistics contained in various historical research documents, the outcome of this campaign had exceeded five million victims. The attacks also affected other Levantine groups, such as the Kurds, Yazidis and Alawites, but the numbers were less and the span of attacks was shorter.


During these events, people perished, and towns and villages were removed from the map. As for those who survived, they were displaced to all parts of the globe where relief aid was extended to them and they thus were integrated into the host societies.


Since then, the survivors live the wounds of their souls and memories and try to find their relatives, either only to meet them, or to reunite with them as families. However, the number of people missing was very large, and as years went by, the chances of finding a friend or relative from whom they had been separated and whose memory was still lingering in the hearts of survivors diminishes.


This very painful humane clift will undoubtedly remain engraved in the individual and collective memory of mankind for generations to come.


As for the economic-legal aspect, it is pending, and we do not see any progress in it either. The few court cases brought by the descendants of the survivors or their institutions either were classified and ignored or lost for reasons that are not hidden from anyone.


There are enormous amounts of properties, including vast agricultural lands and civil and religious buildings, that have been confiscated, and no one knows their legal fate. At the outset, they are the property of individuals and churches, but they are being nibbled one after the other for various reasons and under the pretext of public interests, including security or municipal works.


Urban heritage and property are under threat in an indisputable way, which makes it imperative for stakeholders to take action in order to secure international protection for themselves.


As for the denial of massacres, genocide, and confiscation of property, they are related to the avoidance of international accountability that necessitates restoring nationality to the descendants in case they wanted it, in addition to compensations for victims and returning property to original owners, a fact which entails enormous burdens for the state treasury of the descendants of the perpetrators of massacres.


The world does not expect the perpetrator to recognize his deeds, so we see that the recognition comes worldwide from one country after another, as well as from one institution after another, and it has expanded to a great extent as it is about to reach all of humanity.


May the state of the descendants of the perpetrators of the massacres emulate many of its honorable people who confessed what their ancestors committed and expressed their condemnation of that which had been inflicted, thanks to these positions, a tremendous step towards reconciliation between peoples and cultures is needed.


Self-criticism, recognition of wrongdoing and reversing the wrong that had been inflicted, in addition to the recognition of the rights of those who have been wronged and restoring these rights to them, are the means to build a better future for humanity. Otherwise, the future of humanity will be bleak, fraught with conflicts and wars that may lead to the annihilation of humankind.


This burning concern needs to spread the love that the Lord embodied, as He said, “I came so that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.”