Amnesty says French genocide bill threatens free speech

Amnesty says French genocide bill threatens free speech
Human rights group Amnesty International has criticized a bill passed this week in French Parliament to criminalize denial of the 1915 killing of Armenians in Anatolia as genocide, saying the legislation violates freedom of expression Today`s Zaman reported

The bill, passed in the French Senate on Monday night, sets a punishment of up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros for those who deny or "outrageously minimize" such events. French Parliament already passed a resolution describing the killings of Armenians during World War I in eastern Anatolia as genocide.

Turkey, which denies the genocide charges saying there were many deaths on both sides as Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire for independence, has threatened to impose sanctions if the bill becomes a law. The bill needs to be approved by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is known to back the measure, to go into effect, something French officials said would take place within two weeks.

"This bill, if implemented, would have a chilling effect on public debate and contravene France's international obligations to uphold freedom of expression," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International, according to a statement released by the Amnesty International on Tuesday. "People should be free to express their opinions on this issue -- in France, Turkey and elsewhere."

Noting that Turkish laws penalizing description of the 1915 events as genocide are also in violation of freedom of expression, the Amnesty International official recalled that the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly held that freedom of expression applies not only to inoffensive ideas, "but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population."

"International human rights law allows for restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression if necessary and proportionate for certain specific purposes including respect of the rights or reputations of others or to protect national security or public order," the statement read. "Amnesty International believes that neither of these applies in this instance, and the new legislation would criminalize the exercise of freedom of expression that is seen as 'outrageously' contesting or trivializing historical events or their characterization."

Turkey has argued the bill would compromise freedom of expression in France, with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saying that "a new ... Inquisition" will begin in Europe if each country's parliament makes decisions based on its own views of history and implements them. "European values are under threat," Davutoğlu said earlier this week.

"The real issue at stake with this bill is not whether the large-scale killings and forced displacement of Armenians in 1915 constituted a genocide, but the French authorities' attempt to curtail freedom of expression in response to that debate," Duckworth said. "French authorities are failing to comply with their international human rights obligations."

CSTO resources cannot be used in territorial conflicts - Kazakh expert
CSTO resources cannot be used in territorial conflicts - Kazakh expert
Foreign Ministry discloses details of meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs (PHOTO)
Foreign Ministry discloses details of meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev: There is a very high-level partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan
President Ilham Aliyev: There is a very high-level partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijan, Turkey Kazakhstan - key players in Turkic-speaking alliance
Iran looks to launch new freeway from Tehran to Karaj
CNG based vehicles could reduce fuel prices in Iran
United to provide COVID-19 tests to customers on San Francisco-Hawaii flights
CSTO resources cannot be used in territorial conflicts - Kazakh expert
Kazakhstan. Spain trade down twofold amid COVID-19
Shekel loses sharply on new lockdown restrictions
Iran hotel construction surges by 70 percent over 7 years
Signs COVID cases rising in Sweden again 'worrying' says PM Lofven
Iran`s Rouhani attends inauguration of several projects via video conference
Azerbaijani minister: Issuance of AzerGold's bonds - one of crucial events in 2020 for capital market (PHOTO)
Foreign Ministry discloses details of meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs (PHOTO)
Number of Kazakh cizitens sent back from Baku port during COVID-19 revealed
Azerbaijan reveals 133 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan expands trade relations with Turkey, Russia during quarantine
Russia increases volume of livestock exports to Turkmenistan
Contract on methanol production in Iran signed
PM: Georgia still remains green state status and safe destination for tourists
LUKOIL-Azerbaijan opens tender on repair work
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still rising in Iran
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic exceeds 25,000 in Iran
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses amount of foreign currency bought by local banks
Construction of new oil refinery in Iran starts
Major repairs of Dovletabat-Deryalyk gas pipeline underway in Turkmenistan
Harley books $75 million in fresh restructuring costs, discontinues India operations
President Ilham Aliyev: There is a very high-level partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan
Baku Stock Exchange holds meeting on issuance of AzerGold's bonds (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s Baku International Sea Trade Port discloses total cargo turnover this year
Iran discloses its exports via Jolfa customs
Azerbaijani expert in tourism sector talks about discounts on air tickets
Iran, Malaysia hold talks on preferential trade
FM: Azerbaijan's support for Georgia's position at UN General Assembly essential for us
Vice mayor of Israel's Afula: Azerbaijan - one of most tolerant countries in world
LafargeHolcim Signs Net Zero Pledge with Science-Based Targets
Turkmen Akymly-Ugur service company announces production volumes
Turkmen service company plans to expand its export geography
Geostat reveals volume of vegetables exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
SOFAZ expects no changes in its foreign currency portfolio
Azerbaijan unveils amount of loans issues to farmers
Range of products made in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan expanding
Uzbekistan eyes to integrate into global economic, transport and transit corridors
Azerbaijani FM meets with Georgian counterpart (PHOTO)
Construction of large grain warehouse in Iran to be completed soon
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan drop
Georgia reduces imports of electricity from Azerbaijan
Iran-Najaf flights resume for special passengers
Armenian intelligence network exposed - SOCIAL NETWORKS - PHOTO FACTS
UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation
Iran declares trade turnover with EU member states
German industry's export expectations up significantly
EAEU countries increase fruit exports to Turkmenistan
Azerbaijani oil prices show climb
Pakistani Ambassador: Azerbaijan ably steered NAM in difficult times, provided leadership for developing countries
46-year-old enters Baku Higher Oil School
Moscow-Baku flights resumed (PHOTO)
Georgia reports 259 new COVID-19 cases
Uzbekistan increases cement production
Uzbekistan leads in foreign direct investment sector
Volume of currency sold at NIMA exchange rate in Iran climbs
Overhaul of Azerbaijani ‘Rasul Rza' dry-cargo ship completed (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers discusses budget-related issues (PHOTO)
Georgia increases import of tea from Azerbaijan
Nobel winners to get $110,000 raise as prize money increased
Corn production in Azerbaijan grows
Iraq oil minister expects deal to up oil exports
Oil falls as demand growth concerns outweigh U.S. stock drawdown
Trading at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Turkmen Rysgal Bank introduces digitalization in payment system
Kazakh Gas Refinery to buy welding equipment via tender
Less than 10,000 getting COVID-19 each day
Georgian taxpayers to finance harvest for viticulturists
Armenian armed forces targetted Azerbaijan's important energy, transport infrastructure in July - MFA
Azerbaijan's Az-Granata talks export, production plans to be done by year-end
President Ilham Aliyev receives credentials of incoming Swedish ambassador (PHOTO)
Iranian currency rates for September 24
Iranian member of chamber: railway potential of Azerbaijan and Iran can maximize trade cooperation
Operating revenue of Fluxys Belgium up
Kazakhstan abolishes death penalty
Fluxys Belgium rolling out programs to further reduce methane emissions
Fluxys Belgium sees significant drop in investments
Azerbaijani currency rates for Sept. 24
Compensation of closed Azerbaijani banks ongoing
Saudis warn U.N. of oil spot in shipping lane near decaying Yemen tanker
Some European refiners may leave market
Armenians destroying ancient Albanian monuments of Azerbaijan - historian
Turkmenistan, USAID consider possibility of implementing number of joint projects
SOCAR Trading eyes to create global integrated oil products desk
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 69 times
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister leaves to Georgia for official visit
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for September 24
Israeli cabinet tightens coronavirus lockdown as infections climb
Iran seeks to join its power network to Russia and Azerbaijan
Istanbulites to vote for new planning of historical Taksim Square
Peace, friendship hallmarks of Iranian, Japanese nations: MP
Vice Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan relieved of her duties
WeWork sells control of China unit; says unit got $200 million in funding
Kazakhstan’s AIX taking measures to develop local mining companies
Kazakhstan to open General Consulate in Samarqand
Istanbul Airport receives ‘Chinese Friendly Airport’ certificate
US Ambassador Degnan says Georgia’s parliamentary elections should be fair, transparent, free
All news