Phoenix (AINA) -- The Arizona House of Representatives read resolution HCR 2006, Assyrian Genocide Remembrance Day. The resolution was introduced by Representative Nancy Barto (R) and was co-sponsored by Representatives Jennifer Jermaine (D) and Frank Carroll (R).
The Assyrian Genocide Research Center and local Assyrian organizations played a significant role in sponsoring this resolution.
There are nearly 15,000 Assyrians living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Over 20 Assyrian organizations voiced their support from here and abroad.
Related: The Assyrian Genocide
The Turkish Genocide of Assyrians occurred between during World War One, from 1915 and 1918, and killed 750,000 Assyrians (75%), one million Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians.
The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas, Assyrians, an ethnic minority group, are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia who have lived in the Middle East since ancient times, including in what is today Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria; and
Whereas, Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs, today live around the world, including more than 600,000 in the United States and tens of thousands in Arizona; and
Whereas, between 1914 and 1923, the Assyrian Genocide occurred, during which the Ottoman Empire murdered more than 300,000 Assyrian men, women and children by methods that included mass executions, death marches, torture and starvation; and
Whereas, during the Assyrian Genocide, also known as the Seyfo Genocide, the Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish allies also systematically raped and enslaved Assyrian women and girls, forced the Assyrians from their ancestral lands and pillaged and destroyed their communities; and
Whereas, the massacre of more than two million Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and other Christian and religious minority populations represented the final culmination of a series of violent persecutions dating back to the late 1800s; and
Whereas, this year marks the 105th anniversary of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides of 1915, which were part of the planned eradication of those indigenous communities by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, yet to this day Turkey has still not recognized these genocides; and
Whereas, the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide, maintaining impunity for the perpetrators of these atrocities and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides; and
Whereas, the resilience and endurance of the Assyrian people is commendable and praiseworthy, despite being victims of an ethnocide that the Islamic State continues today; and
Whereas, the State of Arizona is a global leader of human rights, including recognizing and repudiating crimes against humanity. It is fitting that the people of this state honor the victims of the Assyrian Genocide.
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:
- That the Members of the Legislature recognize the Assyrian Genocide of 1915 as a genocide and reprehensible crime against humanity.
- That the Members of the Legislature honor the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Assyrians who were murdered during the Assyrian Genocide of 1915.
- That the Members of the Legislature proclaim August 7, 2020 as Assyrian Remembrance Day in the State of Arizona.