- Associated Press - Friday, May 29, 2015

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) - A Glendale man has ended his 55-day fast protesting the centennial of the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire - today’s Turkey.

Agasi Vartanyan climbed from the glass box he had been living in for almost two months Thursday. He began fasting April 3 outside a Burbank church, weeks before the 100-year anniversary of the deaths, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times (https://lat.ms/1KsQ1cc).

“I’ve done these things for the memory of the victims,” Vartanyan told the host of Armenian supporters that crowded around him as he left his box. “You never get anywhere without fighting for it.”

Vartanyan survived on nothing but bottled water for the duration of his fast. He conducted a similar protest in Russia in 2006.

He says he fasted for 55 days because he turns 55 this year and because it was important for him to end his fast on May 28, the day Armenians celebrate their independence.

“Even though they killed us 100 years ago, they did not succeed in killing our willpower or our will to survive,” Vartanyan said. “One hundred years later, we still exist and we are fighting for justice.”

The Armenian people have for years called on the Turkish government to recognize the massacre as genocide. Vartanyan sad the deaths deserve the same level of recognition as the Holocaust.


Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/

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