Melbourne: Clear sky, 16 °C

Sydney: Broken clouds, rain showers, 22 °C

Athens: Scattered clouds, 13 °C

43 eminent Australians urge SBS to recognise the Armenian genocide

The collective statement is led by lecturer and director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Meher Grigorian

Node Tools

Rate This

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None

Lecturer Meher Grigorian

11 July 2017

A group of 43 Australian-based experts in the Holocaust, genocide and human rights have signed a statement urging SBS to recognise the Armenian genocide and candidly report on the events.

"As scholars and practitioners on the Holocaust, genocide and human rights issues, we are seriously concerned by the Special Broadcasting Service's (SBS) editorial policy on the Armenian genocide," reads the statement, which has 43 endorsements recorded by lecturer and a director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Meher Grigorian.

Successive Turkish governments have continued to deny that it was a genocide, and by taking its current stance the experts say that "SBS treats historians' findings and the views of deniers as if they had equal weight. This is misguided and wrong."

In an article published in The Australian in May titled SBS's Turkish Report Scrutinised SBS's editorial policy on the Armenian genocide, formulated for the 2015 centenary, was revealed and showed reporters are instructed to refer to the event not as the Armenian genocide but as "the mass killing of Armenians, considered by many to have been a genocide, which Turkey denies."

In an interview with the Australian Jewish News, Grigorian claimed the policy was developed after pressure from the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATAA), however SBS managing director Michael Ebeid rejected any link between ATAA and his network's reporting policy in a Senate Estimates hearing on May 24. Edeid had said, "I think as long as the Australian government doesn't call it a genocide, I think it is very difficult for us to do that. We would probably change our protocol if the Australian government had a different perspective on it."

In the statement, Grigorian and the other experts go into the horrific history which began in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire and saw the massacre of 1.5 million Armenian citizens through "direct killing, torture, rape, starvation and forced death marches".

It also cites that the event is documented in the official records of the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Turkey's wartime allies Germany, Austria, and Hungary; in Ottoman court-martial records; by the eyewitness accounts of relief workers and missionaries; in the testimony of survivors; and by decades of historical scholarship.

"The International Association of Genocide Scholars has unanimously reaffirmed that the mass murder of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire conformed to the provisions of the UN Genocide Convention. A growing number of Turkish historians also acknowledge the Armenian genocide. Yet SBS, citing no examples, justifies its editorial policy by stating that 'many historians dispute whether it was a genocide'," the statement continues.

It highlights that other news outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation amongst others have accepted the Armenian genocide as fact and forthrightly report on it and urges SBS to "follow the lead of its international counterparts on the Armenian genocide."

"That means using no caveats or qualifiers in reporting on what is an indisputable historical fact."

Twenty-nine countries have recognised the Armenian genocide, along with two Australian states - NSW and South Australia.

Read more from

Comments

Anyone wanting to judge others should first look at themselves, their fathers and grandfathers. Australia writes its official history on the assumption that no one has ever touched a book or talked to their fathers or grandfathers generation. The ones judging the present state of Turkey are doing the same. If we need to judge the Ottomans and Turkey we need to judge those that had apart in creating the scene that inevitably led to the murders. The murder and civil war in the Ottoman Empire was planned in London and Paris. To really understand the whole issue you need to find the Library books that describe the real World War 1, in 1870, that were printed before the 1940’s. Australians can be judged, when taken in context to what Britain releases openly from their archives, as looking very stupid. It would be very dangerous to read the British public archives in a loud voice in Australian cities. Before anyone in Australia wants to judge anyone outside Australia, they should clean out their cupboards of the rotting lies and the rotting flesh of the innocent. We have seen in the last fifty years people in Australia been accused of murder of innocent people whose only crime was to be of a particular race or ethnicity. Not one person in Australia has been accused or judged for the murder of tens of thousands people in Australia at the same time as the innocent were being murdered in Europe. In fact at one time it was spoken about openly. The people who murdered millions of innocents in Afghanistan in 1919 took part in the murders in Australia. You will not find one book in any Library today in Australia recording the murders. We have politicians saying we are sorry, without putting details on what they are sorry about. Slowly a few words are coming out now just as the last of the murderers have gone to hell for their punishment. No one wanted a Court case in Australia that was like the Nuremburg Trials. Who do you try? The silly children in a uniform with a gun or the politicians. The finger is never pointed at the powerful. No one is judging British, USA, Russian, French, Chinese or Indian politicians for murdering millions of innocent people. We live in times that millions of people are going into Universities, but few of them can be called educated, and, fewer of them have developed any principles or ethics.

Copyright © 2009-2017 Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd ABN 13005 255 087