April 5, 2012 - 14:45 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - On April 4, a wreath laying ceremony was held at a khachkar-obelisk in center of Bratislava, Slovakia, in memory of Armenian Genocide victims, press service of Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe (FAAE) reported.
Slovakia's Supreme Court Chairman Štefan Harabin, President of Armenian Constitutional Court Gagik Harutyunyan, Chairman of RA Court of Cassation Arman Mkrtumyan and FAAE Chairman Ashot Grigorian partook in the event. In his speech, Mr. Harabin noted that he attaches great importance to “Law criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial” adopted by the Slovak government and parliament. He said that any Turkish official regardless of his rank and any other person who dares deny the fact of the Armenian Genocide in Slovakia will immediately be sentenced to 5 years in prison. The Slovak official stressed his readiness to help his French counterparts to pass a similar law.
Gagik Harutyunyan, in turn, voiced deep gratitude to the Slovak government, nation and personally the Supreme Court Chairman for being the first in the EU to adopt a law that penalizes the Armenian Genocide denial. He noted RA Constitutional Court members’ readiness to cooperate with the Slovak lawyers to prove other countries the necessity of passing such a law. Mr. Harutyunyan noted that the law doesn’t run counter to human rights, just the opposite ensures their protection.
FAAE Chairman highlighted the importance of the laws that recognize the Armenian Genocide and criminalize its denial. According to him, following the adoption of such laws, Slovakia became a brilliant example for other states interested in Christian civilization and fostering maintenance of spiritual culture.
On January 23, the French Senate passed the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial with 127 votes for and 86 against. If signed into law by the President, the bill would have imposed a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire.
However, the French Constitutional Council ruled that the bill is anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the bill represents an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication.”