Genocide bill will let Hollande keep his promise: French MP

Genocide bill will let Hollande keep his promise: French MP

PanARMENIAN.Net - French MP Valerie Boyer expressed resentment and bewilderment over the government and President Francois Hollande's stance on her bill outlawing genocide denial, reports.

A bill, criminalizing the denial of the 20th century genocides and crimes against humanity, authored by Boyer and other MPs, was put to vote at the French parliament Thursday, December 3. The bill, envisaging a five-year prison term and a €45.000 fine, was introduced to the National Assembly on October 14, 2014.

Addressing the parliament on Thursday, Boyer said that MPs need to sometimes put common good above their own interests and political disputes.

“Today, for the sake of human dignity, I called on members of all parties to support my bill,” Boyer said in a Facebook post, citing her own speech at the parliament.

“2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015… Years go by, but we allow denialism to spread in our country. We have a historic chance today to put an end to this situation.

I remember the 2011 discussions in this very hall, during which both the rights and lefts joined efforts in our struggle against denialism.

I remember how in 2012 Francois Hollande promised in front of Komitas statue to initiate a bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial.

Several months later in 2012, my colleague Guillaume Larrivé applied to the President, seeking to clarify the deadlines for submitting the draft.

The government cites timing as a problem for my bill, but I'd like to remind that the Élysée Palace had four years to submit a similar draft. Should we wait for 2017 this time?

Returning my bill to the [Justice] Committee, the government presented no proposals, no legal argument and, worst of all, no position.

The examination of my bill, however, will help Francois Hollande face his own unfulfilled promises,” her statement reads in part.

France’s National Assembly Thursday voted to send a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, introduced by Boyer, back to the Justice Commission, which had discussed the measure on November 25.

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, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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