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‘3000 Dead Yazidis Not Enough’ to Consider Islamic State Massacre a Genocide, Armenian MP Argues

Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations postponed on Tuesday the adoption of a draft bill “Condemning the Genocide Committed by the Islamic State against the Yazidis in Iraq,” Boris Murazi, the head of the Yerevan-based Sinjar Yazidi National Union, said in conversation with Epress.am today. It was decided that the bill, which has been authored by opposition lawmakers Naira Zohrabyan, Vahe Enfiajyan, Tevan Poghosyan, Mikayel Melkumyan, Lyova Khachatryan, Aragats Akhoyan, Armen Avetisyan, Vahan Karapetyan, has to be revised and submitted for fresh discussions in a few weeks.

Some of the MPs, according to Murazi, had suggestions and reservations about the bill, but one of them, member of the opposition Prosperous Armenia faction Gurgen Arsenyan, went so far as to make discriminatory statements. “So, 3000 Yazidis were killed. So what?” the Sinjar head cited Arsenyan as saying. While other lawmakers did propose amendments to the bill, he added, but unlike the Prosperous Armenia MP, they did not insult Yazidi people.

In a video published on Sinjar’s official website, Arsenyan explains his reasons for opposing the bill by saying that “the murder of 3000 representatives of any nationality is not genocide. More people have to be killed in order for the crime to be considered a genocide. ”

The lawmaker also argued that Armenia would “attract the attention” of the Islamic State if it made any public statements against the terrorist group.

Other participants of the discussion, Heritage faction member Aleksandr Arzumanyan and ruling Republican Party representative Artak Zakaryan, proposed replacing the word “genocide,” insisting that the crime in Iraq was not committed by a state but a terrorist organization; therefore, the MPs said, using the expression “an act of a genocidal nature” would be more appropriate.