Los Angeles, Calif.–A civil action against the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States was filed yesterday seeking documents as they relate to the Armenian Genocide (1914 to 1925). (Vartkes Yeghiayan v. National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America, Case No. CV08-16248, U.S. District Court, Central District of Calif., Sept. 23, 2008).
“Repeated efforts have been made to procure these documents, but the National Archives has been non-responsive,” says Mark MacCarley, partner with Glendale, Calif.-based MacCarley & Rosen who is representing plaintiff Vartkes Yeghiayan. “Its actions are in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”
The initial request by Yeghiayan occurred in April 2006. “The National Archives acknowledged receipt of the request, but has not provided the information despite repeated inquires from my client,” says MacCarley. “The National Archives, without explanation, has exceeded the generally applicable 20-day deadline for processing FOIA requests. We simply want the requested documentation.”
Yeghiayan is an attorney who has successfully litigated lawsuits in State and Federal courts against U.S. and foreign businesses for Armenian Genocide asset restitution. More than 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the genocide with millions more deported from the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). Yeghiayan filed the FOIA request because he believes documents are being held by the U.S. government that would identify countries having either direct complicity in the Armenian Genocide or profited by the Ottoman Turks actions against Armenians.
“This lawsuit is on behalf of Armenian-Americans who are seeking documentation and information that could shed light on what happened to their loved ones during the Armenian Genocide,” says Yeghiayan.