March 11, 2015

George Clooney is supported by his wife Amal as he speaks at 100 Lives Initiative in New York to mark centennial of Armenian genocide

George Clooney showed solidarity and support for a day of remembrance marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Daily Mail - George Clooney showed solidarity and support for a day of remembrance marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The 53-year-old was joined by his human rights attorney wife Amal Clooney at the 100 Lives Initiative in New York on Tuesday.

Clooney took the stage with co-founder of the initiative Ruben Vardanyan as they spoke about the significance of the centennial.

'I am honored to be associated with 100 LIVES,' the actor said according to PRNewsWire, 'as it shares a common mission with my foundation, Not On Our Watch, to focus global attention on the impact of genocide as well as putting resources towards ending mass atrocities around the world.'

'It should weigh heavily on all of us that genocide still takes place today,' Clooney continued. 'We have to tackle this head on - as individuals, as communities and as governments.'

The Armenian Genocide, which took place between 1915 and 1923, claimed an estimated 1.5 million lives with only 500,000 survivors.

In January Amal went before Europe's top human rights court to argue against a man convicted of denying the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Clooney was representing Armenia as part of an appeal before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of the man, Dogu Perincek, in December 2013.

Perincek believes his right to free speech was violated when Swiss courts convicted him of racism for denying the genocide in 2005. He described the genocide as 'an international lie.'

Clooney said the 'most important error' of the court's 2013 ruling in favor of Perincek was that 'it cast doubt on the reality of the Armenian genocide.'

Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey, however, denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

The court said its decision would be made at a later date.

Amal Clooney, who married actor George Clooney last year, has also argued on behalf of Greece for the return of the so-far unsuccessful campaign to reclaim the Parthenon Sculptures from Britain.

 

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