Gregorio Hairabedián’s Court Claim to Federal Court of Appeals in Criminal and Correctional Matters, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 29, 2000

(a translation from Spanish into English of the photocopy of the claim)



I, Gregorio Hairabedián, in my own right and with the legal representation of Luisa Sandra Hairabedián, Esq., License No. T. 39 F. 541 awarded by the Public Council of Lawyers, domiciled at Avenida Presidente Roque Saénz Peña 570, sixth floor, in the city of Buenos Aires, to Your Honor I declare:

As evidenced by my surname, I am the son of Armenians, both by my parent (Ohanes or Ovhanes or Juan Hairabedián) and by my mother (Lusaper or Luisa Barsumián or Hampartzoumian), both of them deceased. I was born from their marital union in the city of Córdoba, Republic of Argentina, on August 9, 1932.

My parents took refuge in Argentina after the genocide to which the Armenian people was subject, as it is publicly known, between the years 1915 and 1923, and which was decided, organized and carried out by the State of Turkey.

As a consequence of such crime against humankind which still remains unpunished, all our relatives, that is, my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc., in a number not lower than 50 persons, all of them subjects of the Turkish State, either imperial or republican, disappeared by force, were exterminated, deported or otherwise physically annihilated.

At that time, my father was residing in the city of New Jersey, United States of America, while my mother was a ward at the German orphanage Bethshalum, situated in the city of Marash, Turkey. They were spared being in the list of fatal victims thanks to these circumstances.

Taking into account the systematic and recurrent stance publicly assumed by the State of Turkey, repeatedly expressed by the rulers of the moment at every occasion, forum, and official or private, national or international agencies, emphatically denying the commission of the above mentioned crime (genocide) and state terrorism, in spite of the recognition and unofficial condemnation by renown persons, human rights entities, parliaments (among them, the Chamber of Deputies (April 17, 1985) and Senators of the Argentine Nation (June 19, 1985)), conventions, and others, in view of the abundant, indisputable and irrefutable evidence of every kind existing on the matter, I bring this action exercising the powers granted to me by the RIGHT TO THE TRUTH in order to clarify the facts occurred, which amounted to the aforementioned crime against humankind, by means of the pertinent investigation and information to be carried out and obtained for such purpose.


Your Honor will indeed be aware of the enormous significance of the case brought to your attention, both for Justice in general –as a supreme good inhering in humankind which, in this case, entails the clarification of the first genocide of the 20th century and which not a few have qualified as the “final rehearsal of Nazi Fascism” and for the effective exercise of my own rights in particular, which would be violated or obstructed should the markedly negative attitude of the Turkish State persist.

Since this is precisely a crime against humankind to which no statute of limitation can apply, the Turkish State, in compliance with the obligations assumed by section 1 of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, dated December 9, 1948, to which Turkey is a party, has the duty to pursue the investigations leading to the Truth, although the current rulers of the country are not personally liable for the commission of the crime. This is required by the right to obtain a detailed account of the facts, even though there is no possibility to apply any punishment, since the preservation of inalienable rights inhering in the human condition, such as life, dignity, solidarity and all those rights contributing to a peaceful coexistence in liberty, recognized from long ago, is involved.

With reference to the International Law on Human Rights, Juan E. Mendez, in his essay on the “Right to the Truth in the Face of Serious Violations to Human Rights” (see “Application of Treaties on Human Rights by Local Courts,” published by the CELS (Center of Legal and Social Studies) and “Editores Del Puerto”) affirms that “the right to the truth concerning past systematic mass violations of rights is a part of the right of expression, which in all international treaties is linked to the right to the information in possession of the State” (p. 524).

In turn, Alicia Oliveira and María José Guembe, in the same work, affirm: “The right to the truth … is the right to obtain responses from the State. All individuals may require the State to inform them about any matter which they are entitled to know. The right to the truth is, therefore, an element of the right to justice.” (p. 549).

Concerning the right to information, it is applicable, among other international instruments incorporated into our National Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights dated December 16, 1966 (19.2) which, as in other cases, derives from interstate conventions for the effective materialization of the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948, the implementation of which is the greatest challenge presently faced by the human family in view of the systematic denial or the unpunished violation of its conceptual supporting bases. Consequently, it is absolutely necessary to overcome the formal barriers which prevent or hinder the true and practical exercise of the rights established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other supplementary or complementary international documents.

Andres Gil Dominguez, in his note published in “La Ley” (“The Law”) on September 11, 2000 under the title “The Truth, an Emergent Right” (p. 28), commenting the judgment rendered in the case “Urteaga” (item 6), points out that “the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation gave the right to the truth a specific scope and application. The relatives of Benito Urteaga are entitled to know the truth about his fate; that is, what happened with him, which his true fate was, where his remains are. And the State has the obligation to make it possible and facilitate the access to the data recorded in the civil or military state registries that may contribute to find the truth about Benito J. Urteaga.” And he adds: “Justice Bossert’s vote gives a further component to the right to the truth: the right to mourn … when it expresses: “To question such right is to deny that an individual has a greater dignity than the matter of which he is made. And this affects not only the claiming relative, but also the civil society as a whole, which is affected by the disappearance of one of its members; a healthy society cannot allow that an individual who was a part of its substance is lost for ever (…) For this reason, every moral community facilitates and protects the possibility of mourning, since by means of it, forces are recovered, and one can expect and live again. One comes out from mourning, and one comes out of it thanks to mourning itself.”

The systematic denial by the Turkish State of the commission of the crime we are dealing with and its refusal to clarify the facts through impartial investigators in order to determine the truth I pursue, affronts the elementary rationality that must rule human relations, violates the fundamentals and the purposes which gave rise to Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations, denatures democracy, prevents the protection of the common good inhering in humankind, creates skepticism on the scope of Justice and, above all, favors impunity and the temptation to repeatedly resort to exterminating measures in order to dominate and plunder those peoples who strive for life with Dignity, Justice, Peace, Freedom and Solidarity. We must not forget the abhorrent lesson taught by Hitler in August 1939, when he ordered the physical elimination of his enemies to prop up the imperial project of Nazi Fascism with guarantee of impunity. At that time he said: “Who, after all, remembers today the annihilation of the Armenians? (Conf. Proceedings of the Court of Nuremberg).

The denial of the truth about the facts and the denial of the commission of the genocide by Turkey have been recorded in the “Revised and Updated Report on the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” prepared by Ben Whitaker, member of the United Nations Sub Commission for Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and approved at the 38th Period of Sessions held in August 1985.

This document, which I offer as evidence and bears the identification E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6, establishes that “…the present official Turkish contention is that genocide did not take place although there were many casualties and dispersals in the fighting and that all the evidence to the contrary is forged…” (p. 9, note 13).

The same position has been assumed by the representatives of the Turkish government during the Sub Commission sessions, as shown by the proceedings of the 38th Period of Sessions, Item 4 of the Provisional Agenda, which I also offer as evidence and I ask to be requested from the United Nations Information Office in our country.

Not less significant are the considerations which from the mental health field are made by psychology. The Argentine psychologist María Teresa Poyrazián, when commenting the book by Hèlene Piralián, “Genocide et transmission. Sauver la mort, sortir du meurtre (“Genocide and transmission: To save death, to leave murder”), referred to the genocide of Armenians – characterized by the English historian Eric Hobsbawn as “the first modern attempt to annihilate a whole people” focuses her analysis on the question made by the author as the origin of the book being commented: “What does it mean to be a survivor of a genocide, how cannot one die from the inheritance of the genocide?” and holds that “the core of her reflection is the fact that, unlike the Jewish genocide, the Armenian genocide has not been acknowledged by those responsible for it, that is, the Turkish government, or by the successors of those who were responsible for it, and reflects on the consequences that such lack of acknowledgment, such active denial has on the survivors and their descendants. Such genocide entails, in addition to the mass murder of people, a murder of the symbolic aspect and of its transmission to the descendants, an endless murder, the above mentioned analyst affirms, and she adds: “Without this idea of a radical annihilation, of an endless murder, including descendants, the active character of the denial which the Turkish have systematically implemented up to date (1998) would not be understood (…).” Such active denial of the genocide –she concludes keeps the imaginary effect of the exterminator’s omnipotence and maintains survivors in the victim oppressor duality from which it is very difficult to detach oneself. To attempt to do it, she adds, would be to expose themselves to a permanent murderous desire. Therefore, they may only sustain, by means of a permanent memory of the horror suffered, the moment of the trauma as their only possible identity.”

“In the light of the overwhelming amount of existing evidence –Dr. Roberto M. Malkassián, Tenured Professor of Public International Law and Human Rights and Guarantees at the University of Buenos Aires – an evidence of which most Armenians are living witnesses and consequence thereof, he said, to talk about the international responsibility of the genocide committed against the Armenian people seems to be a macabre joke rather than the quest for the legal definition of the consequences of their cruel criminal actions. Nevertheless, it is necessary. It is necessary –he repeats because (…) the Turkish State still persists (1982) in denying its responsibility” (“Legal and Economic Aspects of the Armenian Genocide”, published by the Argentine Armenian Professional Council, p. 63).

Based strictly on the above cited fundamentals, with no other claims than those I advance in this presentation, far from hatred, retaliation or monetary motives, I expect, Your Honor, and so I do claim, that the State of Turkey, through its legal representatives, complies with the duty imposed upon it as a member of the international community, in accordance with the pacts, conventions and rules of International Law applicable to the case, to investigate, inform and clarify the facts instead of concealing or denying them as it has regularly been doing along time.

I also do it because of my commitment to the promotion of ‘Genocides Never Again’ and, consequently, to the establishment of new and superior peaceful coexistence where man be an end in himself, the maker of his own development as a condition for the free development of all his fellow men, and not a passive subject, a thing or a merchandise which can be plundered, denigrated and, in some cases, physically exterminated should he dare to demand justice and dignity.

A commitment which does not end in the Armenian case –certainly paradigmatic but which from its singularity participates in the humanistic endeavor, of liberating sign, to which women and men from different social, religious, ethnic and cultural origins throughout the world are devoted.

And in this direction, in the fighting in the field of Law, I understand that it is unavoidable to resort to the judicial authorities in search for Truth and Justice in spite of the known procedural or jurisdictional differences which, in my opinion, should be overcome in view of the unquestionable and indisputable importance of the Law in question. Hence the need to raise awareness “… that the rights acknowledged by the body of laws are a power or capacity inhering in the individual, social organization or people named by the rule of law, which entails the faculty to demand its enforcement from the state authority concerned”, as advocated by Dr. Eduardo Barcesat in “The Right to Law” (Ediciones Fin de Siglo, p. 74).

Your Honor has jurisdiction over this matter since the right to the truth which has been violated refers to a genocide, a crime against humankind, in the clarification of which is interested the whole international community, according to the General International Custom in force, which has been acknowledged as an autonomous source of Argentine law by the Supreme Court of the Nation. In my opinion, this enables the courts of any State, in this case the Argentine courts, to investigate and clarify the criminal act reported as herein petitioned.


I must underline that in order to avoid any suspicion of bias I have not resorted to the numerous and well documented historical references by Armenian authors or descendants, among them, Dr. Pascual Ohanián, renown researcher in our country –which I shall add to these presents when it be considered right and proper from a procedural viewpoint , but I have limited myself to the development and transcription of the pertinent parts of the moral trial held before the “Permanent People’s Tribunal” (Russell Court) co founded by former Italian Senator Lelio Basso and made up by the following persons of renown and indisputable moral and intellectual value: President: Francois Rigaux (Belgium), Vice Presidents: Ruth First (South Africa), Makoto Oda (Japan), Armando Uribe (Chile), and George Wald (U.S.A.). Secretary: Gianni Tognoni (Italy). Such trial sessions, dealing with the “Genocide of Armenians” and held in Paris between 13 and 16 of April, 1984, were attended by our eminent compatriot and Nobel Prize of the Peace, Architect Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who was also a member of the Tribunal (I attach a brochure with the whole verdict pronounced by the Tribunal).
II.1 Historical introduction.
“The presence of the Armenian people in eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus is attested from the sixth century B.C. onward. For two millennia the Armenian people alternated between periods of independence and vassalage. A succession of royal dynasties came to an end with the collapse of the last Armenian kingdom in the fourteenth century. Having adopted Christianity as their state religion in the early part of the fourth century as well as their own alphabet, both of which gave them a national identity from this period, the Armenians were often persecuted because of their faith by various invaders and suzerains. Though they occupied a geographical position which, as a strategic crossroads, was particularly vulnerable, the Armenians were able until the First World War to create and preserve in their historic territory which the Turks themselves called Ermenistan a language, a culture, and a religion: in short, an identity.
“Following the disappearance of the last Armenian kingdom, the greater part of Armenia fell under Turkish domination, while the Eastern regions were under the control first of Persia, then of the Russians, who annexed them in the nineteenth century.
“Like other religious minorities, the Armenian community (or ‘millet’) enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and, indeed, was left more or less in peace during the classical period of the Empire’s history, in spite of the Armenians’ status as second class citizens (‘rayahs’).
“But with the decline of the Empire in the nineteenth century, conditions grew steadily worse and the climate became one of oppression. The growth in population and the arrival of successive waves of Turkish refugees from Russia and the Balkans as well as the settlement of nomads (Kurds, Circassians, etc.) upset the balance of populations and increased the pressure of competition for land, creating numerous problems of tenure in the agrarian sector. The result was the deterioration in the fortunes of the Armenian population, who were mostly peasants and farmers. Modernization and reform were made difficult by the fossilized structure of the Empire. The few attempts at reform (formation of a modern army, taxation in coin) merely impoverished the peasantry further. At the same time, the emergence of national feelings in the Balkans was leading increasingly to the independence of peoples who had hitherto been under Ottoman rule. The empire was being steadily weakened, not least due to its foreign debt.
“From 1878, following the Russian Turkish war, the Armenian question became a factor in the question of the Orient. Article 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano (1877) provided that a series of reforms would be carried out in Armenian areas under Russian guarantee. However, following a reversal of alliances, the Treaty of Berlin (1878) relieved Turkey of part of its obligations and charged Great Britain to supervise the reforms; but they were never implemented (..…).
“At the outbreak of the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was uncertain as to which side to join. At the beginning of November 1914, under German pressure, it sided with the Central Powers. This placed the Armenians in a difficult position. They occupied a territory which Turkey considered as vital to the realization of its Turanist imperialistic ambitions with regard to the peoples of Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Furthermore, the division of the Armenian people between the Ottoman Empire (2,000,000 Armenians) and Russia (1,700,000) inevitably meant that the two sections of the population found themselves on opposing sides. At the Eighth Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation at Erzeroum in August 1914, the Dashnak party rejected Young Turk requests to engage in subversive action among the Russian Armenians. From the beginning of the war, the Turkish Armenians behaved in general as loyal subjects, signing up with the Turkish army. The Russian Armenians, on their side, were routinely conscripted into the Russian Army and sent to fight on the European fronts. In the first months of the war, Russian Armenians enrolled with volunteer corps which acted as scouts for the Tsarist army the Russian answer to the plan Turks had submitted to Armenians in Erzeroum some months earlier. The Erzeroum refusal and the formation of these volunteer battalions were used as arguments by the Young Turks to allege Armenian treachery. Enver, who had been appointed Supreme Commander of Turkish forces, achieved a breakthrough into Transcaucasia in the middle of winter, but was defeated at Sarkamish as much by the weather conditions as by the Russian army. Of the Turkish Third Army’s 90,000 men, only 15,000 remained. In the depressed aftermath of the defeat in the Caucasus, the anti Armenian measures began.
II.2 The genocide.
“Beginning in January 1915, Armenians soldiers and gendarmes were disarmed, regrouped in work brigades of 500 to 1,000 men, put to work on road maintenance, then taken by stages to remote areas and executed in isolated areas. It was not until April that the implementation of a plan began, with successive phases carried out in a disciplined sequence. Deportation began in Zeytun in early April, in an area of no immediate strategic importance. It was not until later that deportation measures were extended to the border provinces.
“The pretext used to make the deportation a general measure was supplied by the resistance of the Armenians of Van. The vali of Van, Jevdet, sacked outlying Armenian villages and the Armenians of Van organized the self defense of the city. They were saved by a Russian breakthrough spearheaded by the Armenian volunteers from the Caucasus. After taking Van on May 18th, the Russians continued to press forward but were halted in late June by a Turkish counter offensive. The Armenians of the vilayet of Van were thus able to retreat and escape extermination.
“When the news of the Van revolt reached Constantinople, the Union and Progress (Ittihad) Committee seized the opportunity. Some 650 personalities, writers, poets, lawyers, doctors, priests and politicians were imprisoned on April 24th and 25th, 1915, then deported and murdered in the succeeding months. Thus was carried out what was practically the thorough and deliberate elimination of almost the entire Armenian intelligentsia of the time.
“From April 24 onwards, and following a precise timetable, the government issued orders to deport the Armenians from the eastern vilayets. Since Van was occupied by the Russian army, the measures applied only to the six vilayets of Trebizond (Trabzon), Erzeroum, Bitlis, Diarbekir, Kharput, and Sivas. The execution of the plan was entrusted to a ‘special organization’ (SO), made up of common criminals and convicts trained and equipped by the Union and Progress Committee. This semi official organization, led by Behaeddin Shakir, was under the sole authority of the Ittihad Central Committee. Constantinople issued directives to the valis, kaymakans, as well as local SO men, who had discretionary powers to move or dismiss any uncooperative gendarme or official. The methods used, the order in which towns were evacuated, and the routes chosen for the columns of deportees all confirm the existence of a centralized point of command controlling the unfolding of the program. Deportation orders were announced publicly or posted in each city and township. Families were allowed two days to collect a few personal belongings; their property was confiscated or quickly sold off. The first move was generally the arrest of notables, members of Armenian political parties, priests, and young men, who were forced to sign fabricated confessions then discreetly eliminated in small groups. The convoys of deportees were made up of old people, women, and children. In the more remote villages, families were slaughtered and their homes burned or occupied. On the Black Sea coast and along the Tigris near Diarbekir boats were heaped with victims and sunk. From May to July 1915, the eastern provinces were sacked and looted by Turkish soldiers and gendarmes, SO gangs (‘chetes’), etc. This robbery, looting, torture, and murder were tolerated or encouraged while any offer of protection to the Armenians was severely punished by the Turkish authorities.
“It was not possible to keep the operation secret. Alerted by missionaries and consuls, the Entente Powers enjoined the Turkish government, from May 24, to put an end to the massacres, for which they held members of the government personally responsible. Turkey made the deportation official by issuing a decree, claiming treason, sabotage, and terrorist acts on the part of the Armenians as a pretext.
“Deportation was in fact only a disguised form of extermination. The strongest were eliminated before departure. Hunger, thirst, and slaughter decimated the convoys’ numbers. Thousands of bodies piled up along the roads. Corpses hung from trees and telegraph poles; mutilated bodies floated down rivers or were washed up on the banks. Of the seven eastern vilayets’ original population of 1,200,00 Armenians, approximately 300,000 were able to take advantage of the Russian occupation to reach the Caucasus; the remainder were murdered where they were or deported, the women and children (about 200,000 in number) kidnapped. Not more than 50,000 survivors reached the point of convergence of the convoys of deportees in Aleppo.
“At the end of July 1915, the government began to deport the Armenians of Anatolia and Cilicia, transferring the population from regions which were far distant from the front and where the presence of Armenians could not be regarded as a threat to the Turkish army. The deportees were driven south in columns which were decimated en route. From Aleppo, survivors were sent on toward the deserts of Syria in the south and of Mesopotamia in the southeast. In Syria, reassembly camps were set up at Hama, Homs, and near Damascus. These camps accommodated about 120,000 refugees, the majority of whom survived the war and were repatriated to Cilicia in 1919. Along the Euphrates, on the other hand, the Armenians were driven ever onward toward Deir el Zor; approximately 200,000 reached their destination. Between March and August 1916, orders came from Constantinople to liquidate the last survivors remaining in the camps along the railway and the banks of the Euphrates.
“There were nevertheless still some Armenians remaining in Turkey. A few Armenian families in the provinces, Protestants and Catholics for the most part, had been saved from death by the American missions and the Apostolic Nuncio. In some cases, Armenians had been spared as a result of resolute intervention by Turkish officials, or had been hidden by Kurdish or Turkish friends. The Armenians of Constantinople and Smyrna also escaped deportation. Lastly, there were cases of resistance (Urfa, Shabin Karahisar, Musa Dagh). In all, including those who took refuge in Russia, the number of survivors at the end of 1916 can be estimated at 600,000 out of an estimated total population in 1914 of 1,800,000, according to Arnold Toynbee.
“In Eastern Anatolia, the entire Armenian population had disappeared. A few survivors of the slaughter took refuge in Syria and Lebanon, while others reached Russian Armenia (….).”
Up to here, the facts described by the Permanent People’s Tribunal and transcribed in the pertinent parts, which, according to my knowledge, to the existing abundant bibliography and to the data collected in numerous works by prestigious historians, diplomats and other important personalities from various areas of human activity, among them, the members of the above mentioned Tribunal, are objectively true.
Victims of those outrageous and tragic operations of “final solution” for the “obstacles” to the imperial plans of the dominating sectors in Turkey and the terrorist State which represented them, in detriment of the rights, dignity, interests and longing for freedom and justice of the Turkish people itself –instigated, manipulated and incited by its plunderers with racial or religious fanaticism and deliberate mechanisms to plunge it into poverty and ignorance and in this way to obtain, either by act or by omission, its blind participation in the plan of mass extermination –victims of those evil motives, I repeat, were the whole families of my parents (my father’s in the locality of Palú, within the jurisdiction of the vilayet of Jarput, and my mother’s in the locality of Zeitún, nowadays Soulemayni).
No government or representative of the Turkish State has ever acknowledged the facts described above, while investigation has been invariably rejected, in spite of the demands specially and persistently made by Armenians and their descendants in different parts of the world, as well as those promoting this presentation and also other presentations which will continue being made insofar as Truth and Justice are not put in place and the atrocious scourge of forced disappearances, tortures and unimaginable torments known by everybody which also ravaged our country in the tragic days of the murderous dictatorship (1976/1983), and which also resorted to the most varied stratagems in order to conceal the truth and prevent justice is finally eradicated.
II.3 The Turkish arguments (included in the verdict).
“The Tribunal has examined the Turkish arguments as set forth in the documents submitted to it.
“The refusal of the Turkish government to recognize the genocide of the Armenians is based essentially on the following arguments: lower estimate of death toll; responsibility of Armenian revolutionaries; counter accusations; denial of premeditation.
“The number of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire in 1914 has been variously estimated at 2,100,000 by the Armenian Patriarchate; 1,800,000 by A. Toynbee; and about 1,300,000 by the Turks. In spite of different estimates of the number of victims, the Armenians and almost all the Western experts agree on the proportion; approximately two thirds of the population. The Turks claim that the consequences of the ‘transfer’ were on a much smaller scale, resulting in the disappearance of 20 25 percent of the population due to generally poor wartime conditions. The Turkish state also claims that losses were heavy on the Muslim side. This argument appears to overlook the fact that Armenians have almost entirely disappeared from Anatolia. The population of Turkey is currently about 45 million, of whom less than 100,000 are Armenians.
“In order to shift responsibility away from itself, the Turkish government alleges that Armenians committed acts of sedition and indeed of treason in time of war. However, the Tribunal has found that the only armed actions undertaken within the Ottoman Empire were the Sassoun revolt and the resistance of Van in April 1915.
“A further argument advanced by the Turkish state is the accusation that it was the Armenians who supposedly committed genocide against the Turks. It is true that in 1917 (i.e. more than a year after the deportation and extermination of the Armenians was completed) a number of Turkish villages were annihilated by Armenian troops. The Tribunal considers that these acts, however blameworthy, cannot be considered as genocide. Furthermore, the Tribunal notes that these acts were committed some considerable time after the mass slaughter suffered by the Armenians.
“Lastly, the Turkish state rejects the charge of premeditation, impugning the authenticity of the five telegrams sent by the Minister of the Interior, Talaat, which were certified as authentic by experts appointed by the Court at the trial of Soghomon Tehlirian at Berlin Charlottenburg in 1921. Tehlirian was acquitted of the murder of Talaat in view of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Young Turk government. The German Ambassador, Wangenheim, for his part, left no doubt, as early as July 7, 1915 as to the premeditation of the events: ‘These circumstances and the manner in which the deportation is being carried out are a demonstration of the fact that the government is indeed pursuing its goal of exterminating the Armenian race in the Ottoman Empire.’ (Letter concerning the extension of the deportation measures to provinces not under threat of invasion by the enemy [No. 106 in the collection “Deutschland und Armenien, 1914 1918”] in the Wilhelmstrasse archives and published by the Rev. Lepsius.)
“In 1971, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights asked its Sub Committee on the fight against discriminatory measures and the protection of minorities, comprising independent experts, to undertake a ‘study of the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.’
“In 1973 and 1975, the two interim reports which were submitted to the Sub Committee by the special rapporteur contained a paragraph 30 which read as follows: ‘In modern times, attention should be drawn to the existence of fairly abundant documentation relating to the massacre of the Armenians, considered as the first genocide of the twentieth century.’
“In the final report submitted to the Commission in 1979, the aforementioned paragraph 30 was omitted. The Commission’s Chairman observed that the omission had given rise to such a wave of protest that its effects were assuming proportions which had possibly not been anticipated by the author. He therefore invited the rapporteur, when putting the finishing touches to his report, to bear in mind this reaction and statements made by the Commission delegates following the omission.
“The special rapporteur never reported back to complete his mission and the Sub Committee, in pursuance of Economic and Social Council Resolution 1983/33, appointed another special rapporteur with instructions to fully revise and update the study on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.
“The Tribunal has found that the Turkish delegation, in opposing the adoption of the above mentioned paragraph 30, essentially advanced the following arguments:
• that the facts alleged were a distortion of historical truth.
• that the term genocide did not apply since the events concerned were not massacres but acts of war.
• and lastly, that harking back to events which took place as long ago as the beginning of the century would merely serve to stir up ill feeling.
“On the first two points, concerning the facts and the law, the Tribunal has examined the arguments submitted in the case before it and trusts that in so doing it has contributed to meeting the wish of the Commission for Human Rights that efforts should be made to enable the Sub Committee to complete its task taking into consideration all the material which has been submitted to it.
On the third point, the Tribunal can only observe that the refusal to adopt paragraph 30, quoted above, far from allaying concern, has given rise to passionate reaction.”
Concerning the Rights of the Armenian people, the Tribunal expresses:
“The Tribunal notes that the Armenian population groups which were the victims of the massacres and other atrocities which have been reported to it constitute a people within the meaning of the law of nations. (….) Today, this people has the right of self determination in accordance with Article 1,S2 of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples adopted in Algiers on July 4, 1976. (…) The Tribunal wishes to stress the special obligations which are placed upon the Turkish state in this regard arising from the general rule of the law of nations as well as from individual treaties to which it has been party (…) In this connection, the Tribunal draws special attention to the fact that by virtue of Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, the aforementioned state entered into an obligation as early as 1878 to assign the Armenian people within the Ottoman Empire a regime guaranteeing its right to flourish in a climate of security under the supervision of the international community (….) and that, even before the right of peoples to self determination was explicitly affirmed by the United Nations Charter, the rights of the Armenian people had already been recognized by the states concerned under the supervision of representatives of the international community.”
Based on the above, I respectfully request Your Honor to accept this claim for the right to the truth in order to know what the fate of my relatives and the people of which they were a part was, as well as to know the place where their remains were buried and to mourn their death in accordance with my beliefs. For such purpose I also request Your Honor that the following measures are taken:
1. To request the Government of Turkey, through the pertinent channels, to inform in detail the fate of my paternal and maternal relatives who lived in Palú (Jarput) and Zeitún (Soulemainy), respectively, during the events that took place between 1915 and 1923 in these localities.
2. To request the Government of Turkey to put at the disposal of the undersigned and the natural or legal persons authorized for such purpose, the archives it has in connection with the events mentioned above, of which my relatives were victims, either through forced disappearance, deportation, execution or any other method of extermination.
3. To request the Government of Turkey authorization to carry out on site investigations in order to find the remains of my relatives.
4. To request the Governments of Great Britain, United States of America, Germany and the Vatican State to send all the information filed in their archives in connection with the events occurred in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 in the vilayets of Trebizond, Erzeroum, Bitlis, Diarbekir, Jarput and Sivàs, among other territories where the Armenian people lived, under the imperial or republican administration of Turkey.
5. To request the United Nations Information Office in our country to send: a) a certified copy of the “Revised and Updated Report on the Question of Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” prepared by Ben Whitaker, member of the United Nations Sub Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, adopted by the 38th Period of Sessions held in August 1985, a document identified as E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/6; b) a certified copy of the Proceedings of the 38th Period of Sessions, Item 4 of the Provisional Agenda.


I support my right on the provisions of section 75, subsection 22, and section 118 of the National Constitution and complementary and related provisions.


I reserve the right to make this a federal case, as established by section 14 of Law 48, taking into account the nature of the case at bar, as well as the scope and interpretation of the rules and institutional background herein referred to.

Therefore, I request Your Honor:
1) To consider me as duly appeared and to have constituted legal address for the purposes hereof.
2) To consider my claim for the right to the truth to be duly filed.
3) To add the attached documentary evidence to my claim and to request the evidence offered.
4) To sustain the claim under the terms set forth above.
5) To take into account the reserve of the Federal Case.
May Your Honor grant what is herein requested, for in doing so,


[Signature]. Gregorio Hairabedián, Notary Public. [Signature]. Luisa Hairabedián, Attorney, License Number Tº XXI Fº 296.

[There is a seal reading]: Federal Court of Appeals in Criminal and Correctional Matters. General Court Clerk’s Office. [Signature]. December 29, 2000.

I, Ana María Paonessa, duly sworn translator for the English language, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true translation from Spanish into English of the photocopy of the claim, hereto attached and to which I refer, in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the twenty first day of the month of July, 2003.
[The following text in Spanish is equivalent to the preceding paragraph and is added for certification purposes only].

ES TRADUCCIÓN FIEL al idioma inglés de la fotocopia de la demanda escrita en idioma español, adjunta a la presente y a la que me remito, en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, República Argentina, a los veintiún días del mes de julio de 2003.

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