French court repeals ‘genocide denial’ law
Provision redundant given existing incitement to hatred laws, Constitutional Council rules.
ARIS (AA) - A top French court Friday repealed a piece of legislation that made it illegal to say the 1915 incidents does not constitute genocide.
The Constitutional Council issued a decision that decriminalizes “the denial of certain crimes”, on the grounds that the relevant provision was “redundant given the existing laws on incitement to hatred”.
The court's statement indicates that there is not a clear shift of position in French law on the matter.
The provision made it possible to charge an individual who denies the genocide claims with committing a “hate crime”, punishable by a year in prison and a penalty of 40,000 euros ($42,740).
Parliament passed the provision late last year, drawing the ire of the Turkish community in France and the Turkish government.
Ankara objects to the portrayal of the 1915 incidents as “genocide” and describes them as a tragedy for both sides
Turkey's position is that deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
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