Statement by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin on the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide:
"In 1915, just prior to the start of World War I, nearly two million Armenians were living in the Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey. On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities began a systematic extermination of its Armenian population when they rounded up and arrested more than 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople. In the ethnic cleansing that followed, the Turkish government subjected Armenians to deportation, confiscation of property, abduction and massacre. Those who did survive endured slavery, starvation and torture until they could escape.
"Although it is unknown exactly how many Armenians perished in the genocide because most records were destroyed, estimates are that more than 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered between 1915 and 1923.
"Despite the overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence, many countries, including the United States, have yet to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. It is time that changed. It is time the international community, including our own country, recognize the horrors that the Armenian people endured at the hands of their leaders.
"Just as we cannot ignore the horrors of Aleppo and Idlib in Syria, where innocent people – primarily women and children - are being bombed and gassed by their leaders – we cannot forget the horrors the Armenian people endured for no fault of their own.
"To deny the Armenian people the recognition of their own Holocaust is to deny them their heritage. That is simply unjust. We should not let another year pass without finally, as a nation, recognize the Armenian Genocide."