September 4, 2014 - 16:41 AMT
French MP continues struggle for criminalization of Genocide denial

French MP Valerie Boyer introduced a new bill on criminalization of denial of genocides and crimes against humanity in the 20th century, Nouvelles d'Arménie reported.

“With the centenary of the Armenian Genocide ahead of us, France has no laws to punish denial of genocides and crimes against humanity, with the exception of the Holocaust. Though officially recognizing both genocides, only the denial of Holocaust was made punishable by Paris,” the parliamentarian stressed, urging to rectify the situation.

According to the MP, criminalization of the genocide denial is gaining urgency amid relentless persecution of Christians in Iraq. In this context, Boyer suggested to introduce a new classification of the denial of genocide viewing it as a crime against humanity rather than abuse of free speech, thus protecting the memory of all genocides.

In 2012 and 2013 Boyer also initiated draft laws on criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial.

On January 23, 2012, French Senate passed the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged imposing 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.

Later, the French Constitutional Council ruled that a bill adopted by the French Senate making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide was anti-constitutional.

In July, French President Francois Hollande confirmed plans for a new law criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide with representatives of the Armenian community.