April 11, 2019 - 10:49 AMT
Italy's Chamber of Deputies recognizes Armenian Genocide

The Lower House of Italy's parliament on Wednesday, April 10 approved a motion calling on the Italian government to "officially recognise the Armenian Genocide" and raise the profile of the issue at the international level, ANSA reports.

The motion was approved with 382 votes in favour, none against and 43 abstentions by MPs from the opposition, centre-right Forza Italia party.

The Italian Senate in 2020 approved a bill criminalizing the denial of genocides. It stipulates 3-year imprisonment and a fine.

"With a criminal delay, Italy is finally recognizing one of the most sinister pages in the history of mankind. No economic or diplomatic logic would ever allow us not to state the exact name of the massacre of innocent people. It was a genocide and so it should be written in history textbooks", Massimiliano Capitanio, the lawmaker from the ruling right-wing Lega party, who heads the Italian-Armenian inter-parliamentary friendship group, said after the vote.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the passing of the motion, dismissing it as "a new example of the use of Armenian claims as a tool for domestic political interest".

Armenians commemorate the mass killings on April 24 because on that date in 1915 a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.