Thursday, 5 May 2011

French Senate Declines to Criminalise Denial of the Armenian Genocide

The French senate yesterday declined to criminalise denial of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. A proposed law would have imposed a fine of 45,000 euros and a year of imprisonment on anyone denying that the genocide took place. It was voted down by 196 to 74, however.

The French parliament had previously passed an acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide in 2001. The law debated yesterday would have gone further than this, however, and made it a crime to deny the genocide at all, in a way similar to the Gayssot law which criminalises denial of the Holocaust.

The proposal for the law was initially adopted in 2006. Before his election in 2007, French President Sarkozy promised to support it. 500 members of the Armenian community in France were present to express anger about the failure to pass the measure.


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