France working on legal instrument condemning Genocide denial

France working on legal instrument condemning Genocide denial

PanARMENIAN.Net - French Minister of Justice confirmed that the country’s government is working on a legal instrument condemning the denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Ms Christiane Taubira made the statement at the January 29 annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF), marking the anniversary of France’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2001, a Paris-based journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net

CCAF also presented a series of events to be implemented in the framework of "Mission 2015" action, with ringing of church bells throughout France on April 24, 2015, among them.

On January 23, 2012 the French Senate passed the bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged 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 the bill as anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document represented an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication

Later, President Hollande pledged to redraft the law criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in France, stressing the need to ensure the legal framework to avoid censorship by the Constitutional Council.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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