35 years ago, a group of five young Armenians from the Armenian Revolutionary Army known as “The Lisbon five” attacked the Turkish embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. Those young Armenians were Sedrak Achemyan (19 years old), Vache Dagliyan (19), Ara Krtlyan (20), Simon Yakhniyan (21), and Sargis Abrahamyan (21).
After the attack, the Armenian Revolutionary Army sent a message to various news agencies:
“To all governments, the international community, and media,
Know what we are doing. The freedom-loving Armenian youth decided to act. Because we have lost everything, we decided to blow up this building and remain under its ruins. This isn’t suicide, nor is it madness. Rather, it is the highest sacrifice for the liberation fight.
The world community may call us adventurers, terrorists, or executioners, it doesn’t matter. We decided to resort to force because the Turkish state and the countries who support them neglect the rights of the Armenian people.
The Armenian people have waited for decades for the international court to resolve the Armenia question. Armed struggle is the only way towards self-determination. To live and to develop in an independent and free ancestral country is the right of the Armenian people.”
The young Armenians kept their word by blowing up the building of the embassy. Refusing to surrender to the police, they detonated the embassy along with themselves.
On September 19, 1983, the bodies of the 5 heroic young Armenians were sent to Lebanon. On September 20, after a requiem in an Armenian church, they were buried in the vicinity of the Dashnaktsutyun cemetery in the Bourj Hammoud municipality near Beirut.
Armenian poet Hovhannes Shiraz dedicated his poem “To the Lisbon self-immolated” to the group. Armenian poet Vahé Oshagan also dedicated his story “Telephone” to them, while Garnik Sargsyan wrote the song “5 Armenian hearts.”
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