Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
France13 October 2006

Reporters Without Borders regrets adoption of law making it a crime to deny Turkish genocide against Armenians

Reporters Without Borders can only regret the adoption by the French National Assembly, on 12 October 2006, of a draft law making denial of the Armenian genocide a crime. It will now be punishable by five years in jail and 45,000 euros fine.

The law complements that of 19 January 2001 in which France publicly recognised the 1915 Armenian genocide.

“There is obviously no question of going back on the recognition of the Armenian genocide, but legislating on it will expose anyone denying it to harsh judicial penalties set out by the 18 July 1881 law on press freedom (Article 24a). Memorial laws contribute to the creation of an official historical truth. This practice is incompatible with France’s fundamental values, starting with freedom of expression,” said the organisation.

“Not only is it absurd that free expression - however contestable and that is not the question - should be submitted to a constraint which is also an additional threat, but it seems to us that this legalistic concept of history will be much more likely to stoke up antagonism rather than promote debate.

“It is particularly symbolic that this vote should have been held on the same day of the awarding of the Nobel Prize for literature to Orhan Pamuk, who was himself taken to court by the Turkish authorities for having raised the issue of this genocide,” Reporters Without Borders stressed.

Reporters Without Borders hopes that senators due to examine the law at the second reading, will show less attention to forthcoming elections and will have the wisdom to reject it. If not it could have incalculable consequences for all historians and of course for press freedom.

  In this country
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
12 May - France
TV reporter cleared of inciting teenager in body piercing “suspension”
2 April - France
“Dangerous trend” condemned after anti-crime unit questions four journalists over Sarkozy video
26 March - France
Two website journalists summoned for questioning about Sarkozy video
4 March - France
Anger over new case of journalists being treated as “police auxiliaries or even criminals”

in the annual report
France - Annual Report 2008
France - Annual report 2007
France - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives