Greece and France renew campaign to criminalize genocide denial


Greece and France renew campaign to criminalize genocide denial –



 Valerie Boyer


Armenianow – Approaching the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a number of countries continue adopting laws condemning the genocide, claiming that rejecting it results in new crimes in the modern world, such as the crime toward Christians and Yezidi in Iraq. 

On September 2 French parliamentarian Valerie Boyer wrote on his official website that he introduced a new bill that would punish denial of the Armenian Genocide, mentioning that there is no law in France condemning the rejection of the Armenian genocide and crimes against humanity, such as the Holocaust. 

“Until today France has officially recognized two genocides – the Armenian and the Jewish, but only the rejection of the Holocaust is punished by law,” Boyer wrote reflecting on the bloody events in Iraq, mentioning that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon evaluated those events as crimes against humanity.

In 2011 Boyer’s bill on denial was accepted by the parliament and the senate, but was not accepted by the Constitutional Court, considering that rejection is a part of the right of freedom of speech. Boyer mentioned that the text of the bill will soon appear on the parliamentary website.

This year at the memorial ceremony of the Armenian Genocide victims in Paris the French President Francois Hollande said that he will be in Yerevan on April 24, 2015 to commemorate the centennial of the Genocide. 

According to Nouvelles d’Armenie, in his speech Hollande mentioned that “This tragedy has a name, only one name – Genocide; there is no other name to it. I will contribute to the Armenian Genocide’s recognition in the world.”

On September 3 the Greek parliament took up discussion of a bill against denying genocide denial.

According to Associated Press, the bill in circulation penalizes rejection of the Holocaust, as well as it enlarges prosecutorial powers against hatred of others, in the war against crimes on grounds of national heritage.

To ban the rejection of the Armenian Genocide the government led by conservatives meets opposition from the left and some legislatives. The latter do not want such a point to be included in the bill.

The chairman of the Armenian Assembly of Greece, Hakob Avagyan told Freedom radio station that they are not sure yet but the rejection of the Armenian Genocide must be condemned.

“It is highly probable that from now on there must be a law in Greece which condemns the Armenian Genocide. I think that we will have good news on Friday from Greece,” Avagyan said.
The bill is expected to be put to discussion on the weekend.


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