Video: Paris holds small-scale national commemoration of Armenian genocide

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The Armenian community in Paris holds a short ceremony in front of the Komitas statue, while respecting the coronavirus protective measures, to pay tribute to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian genocide 105 years ago.

Both Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet were in attendance.

France, which was the first major European country to recognize the massacres as genocide, held its first national commemoration day last year.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday decried crimes against "civilization" and demanded an apology from Turkey as his country marked the 105th anniversary of the WWI-era Armenian genocide.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million people were killed as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart during World War I in what amounted to genocide, a claim supported by some 30 countries.

Turkey fiercely rejects the genocide label, arguing that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.

Commemorations started in Armenia on Thursday evening, when streetlights were switched off and church bells chimed across the country.

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