Analysis by Leading International Law Expert Affirms Modern Day Responsibility of the Turkish Government for Crime Against the Armenian Nation

July 7, 2003

Washington, DC – International law expert and former Secretary of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Dr. Alfred de Zayas, has published an in-depth report on the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide to the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a point-by-point analysis of the landmark international treaty that defines genocide and outlines its ramifications under international law, de Zayas concluded that the U.N. Convention clearly applies to the Armenian Genocide.

In a summary submitted along with his twenty page study memorandum, Dr. de Zayas affirmed that, “the Genocide Convention of 1948 can be applied retroactively, because it is declarative of pre-existing international law.” He cited numerous precedents including “the London Agreement of 8 August 1945 establishing the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutes of Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of 1968, and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969.”

De Zayas concluded by citing the “logical consequences” of applying the Genocide Convention to the Armenian Genocide, including “the return to the Armenian people and the Armenian Church of monasteries, churches, and other assets of historic and cultural significance, as well as the granting of a measure of compensation to the descendents of the victims of genocide. In this connection, the restitution and compensation schemes elaborated for the victims of the Holocaust provide a useful precedent.”

Dr. Alfred de Zayas is a renowned expert in international and human rights law. Having received his Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard in 1970 and Doctorate of Philosophy from Gottingen University (Germany) in 1977, he has gone on to teach at several university including DePaul University College of Law and the University of Gottingen. He has had a distinguished career at the United Nations, having served as Legal Officer with the UN Center for Human Rights in Geneva (1981-1993); Secretary of Complaints Procedures for the UN Human Rights Committee and Committee against Torture (1994-97); Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee (1998-2000); and Senior Human Rights Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2000-2003.)

Click here to read the full text of Dr. de Zayas’ report.

Click here to read the Executive Summary of Dr. de Zayas’ report.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
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