French Senate Votes to Criminalize Genocide Denial [Updated]

Thousands of French-Armenians gather in front of the French Senate

PARIS—The French Senate passed the bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide today, despite threats and bullying from the Turkish state. The bill passed by 127 votes against 86.

The bill, drafted by member of French General Assembly Valerie Boyer, renders denial punishable with a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($58,000).

“Today’s courageous vote by the French Senate shines the spotlight across the Atlantic, on American policymakers, who, for far too long, have let Ankara block U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director, Aram Hamparian.

“The growing international pressure on Turkey and, closer to home, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by 42 U.S. states, highlight that President Obama, who promised as a candidate to recognize the Armenian Genocide, has allowed a foreign country to impose a gag-rule on U.S. recognition of this crime against humanity,” added Hamparian.

“We mark this occasion by urging President Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and by calling on the U.S. House leadership to allow a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.304,” continued Hamparian.

“This day will be written in gold not only in the history of friendship between the Armenian and French peoples, but also in the annals of the history of the protection of human rights,” said Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Nalbandian, reported Reuters.

During the proceedings, members of the French Senate spoke powerfully and vocally in support of the bill. They noted that the bill is not directed against any specific country, and that it is merely an effort to honor the memory of genocide victims and struggle against hate speech.

On the other hand, those who opposed the bill did so on the grounds of opposing memorial laws in general, and noted that the French Senate is not a courthouse and is not a place to legislate history.

The Senate first voted to confirm the constitutionality of the bill. The Senate also voted down four proposed amendments.

French-Armenian intellectuals and artists—including Charles Aznavour, Serge Avedikian, Simon Abkarian, and Levon Sayan—had issued a call to the French Senate to pass the bill.

Thousands of French-Armenians gathered in front of the Senate building to express support for the bill. The Armenian crowd on the other hand, was singing Armenian national and revolutionary songs and celebrating (see video).

Turks abandon their protest outside the French Senate building

Nearby, a Turks crowd had gathered. More than an hour before the voting, however, the crowd started to disperse. The Turkish newspaper Radikal, ran an article on its website titled, “The Turks went home, the Armenians have started celebrating,” in reference to the mood of the crowds during the hour leading up to the vote.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had urged the French Senate on Jan. 20 not to pass the bill, noting that it would constitute “a black stain on France’s intellectual history.”

“We will always remind them of that,” added Davutoglu.

In turn, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he may not visit France again if the Senate passed the bill, reported Hurriyet Daily News.

On Jan. 18, a French Senate committee had rejected the bill, but the committee’s decision was not binding and today’s vote proceeded as scheduled.

The bill’s passage did not come as a surprise, as both the Left and the Right in France had expressed support for it.

On Dec. 22, the French General Assembly had approved the bill, prompting Ankara to withdraw its Ambassador from Paris, only to return a few weeks later.

France adopted a bill officially recognizing the Armenian genocide in 2001.

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92 Comments

  1. David said:

    Great!!! France is really an honourable country. USA should take example from France and acknowledge the Armenian genocide.

  2. hye4life said:

    what are these savages doing in the center of europe, please send the barberians back to central asia

  3. hrair said:

    THANK YOU FRANCE, TURKEY HAS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THREATS AGAINST ANY COUNTRY THAT RECOGNIZES THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE WILL NOT WORK, THE WORLD KNOWS THE TRUTH THAT TURKEY HAS COMMITTED GENOCIDE AGAINST ARMENIANS,GREEKS,ASSYRIANS AND OTHER CHRISTIANS AND ALSO KURDS, TURKEY HAS TO JOIN THE CIVILIZED WORLD AND ADMIT TO ITS OWN GUILT AND ADMIT TO GENOCIDE,AND APOLOGIZE,TURKEY MURDERED INNOCENT BABIES,CHILDREN , WOMEN AND MEN. THE DAY WILL COME THAT TURKEY WILL ASK FOR FORGIVNESS FOR KILLING THE INNCONENT. THEN TURKS WILL BE PROUD OF THEIR COUNTRY FOR ADDMITTING TO THIS HORRIBLE PAST IN THEIR HISTORY.

      • Basil said:

        You are right, he is smoking some serious shit to believe that Turks could be proud of self-reflection, humility and coping with the past, about ending not only concrete lies but a mentality of lies and slander.

        Instead obviously, Turks will remain in this shizophrenic state where they hate Europeans, Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Kurds and the US, but – with the help of USrael – are able to bully around not only the Kurds “minortiy”, Cyprus and Armenia but sovereign European states. Until at some point it simply ends.

  4. Alexander The Great Armo said:

    Everyone here is happy for news that should of happened in 1920’s but not 97 years down the long road to truth with punishment to that truth. This goes to proof that not until the world community depletes its relationship interests with invader turks, Armenians won’t be able to punish them. We want our lands back, which was the reason for that genocide, unlike the Jewish one, which was for the riches they possessed.

    • Random Armenian said:

      Alex,

      I think the missed the part about the demented ideas on race and outright hatred that targeted Jews and other groups, including Russians/Slavs. Besides, confiscation of Armenian wealth and property was also part of the Armenian genocide.

    • Sedat said:

      Rather the giving back land??, you’ll find that Turkey might flex her muscle in helping Azerbeycan in forcing the occupying forces out What kind of reaction do you think a much more powerful neighbour would have??.

      • Alexander the Great said:

        Turkey would not dare touch Armenia or Artsakh . The only occupying forces my friend are the Turks. Let Turkey try to flex her muscle and you’ll see the Russian’s flex their much bigger and stronger muscle. You don’t want to go there. Go read and study history my friend.

  5. Mike said:

    One for all and all for one!
    Those who speak the truth are tug ether and strong. God with us!
    God bless truth s

  6. John Markarian said:

    Armenians should all send e-mails to the French Consulate and the French embassy in the US and other countries stating their heartfelt thanks for the great act of courage. Viva de la France!!!!
    You can contact the French embassy and write them a very nice letter of thanks at the following e-mails.
    info@ambafrance-us.org
    accueil.francais@consulfrance-losangeles.org
    We really need to thank them from the bottom of our hearts

  7. Mike said:

    Those who speak the truth are tugether and strong. God with us!
    God bless truth speakers and god bless France!
    One for all and all for one!

  8. Mouche Mouche said:

    Armenians, get involved in politics, introduce your children at an early age to the world of politics. It’s the only way to have your vote count, literally. You can stay outside the building and sing (as I did today in Paris). But it’s not enough. Kich enk, baytz togh amen mi Hay hazar odari ujh unéna – stay intelligent. You see, it’s not the population, it’s the power. Khélatsi Hayer, abrék. Françagan droshnerov eyin egel aysor, tsuytz dalov menk Françatsi enk, we believe in the French state and their judgement. Gabig dajigner irentz droshag vermagi nman gtapeyin. It’s these actions in the media’s eye which speak loud. Very loud. And they heard us. And the beat will go on….Vive la France et tous les pays qui aiment la verité. Bravo.

  9. Devi said:

    Truth will out!! Be it almost 100 years over due. Viva la France!! Hopefully one day America will follow suit.

  10. Diran said:

    Thank you to French people , Thank you France And thank you Mr. Sarkozy only France the most democratic country in the world understands what is Genocide and what it is a terrible thing , not only for Armenians but for all people of this small world.

  11. Sedat said:

    Do you think that Armenia is innocent, then you must believe in Santa Clause as well. Antagonising and insulting the rising power of a neighbour, the only people that will loose are the Armenian. The hypocrisy of the situation, to anyone who refers to historical facts, is unbelievable. The millions of Turks, unarmed women and children that were killed by the Armenians during WW1 is testament to the pain that Turkish people will never forget. Remember Turkish blood is as valuable as Armenian blood. Hypocrisy in the long run will never be rewarded. Well done to the French for stoking another 100 years of hatred between, for now, peaceful neighbours.

  12. Vard said:

    GREAT!!!!!!! There is one truth and nothing can change it..!! Thank You France

  13. Ara said:

    Let this be a THUNDERING example to the cowardly American politicians, and particularly Obama, who turned his back on his word to Armenian American citizens who stood by him, voted for him and most importantly, trusted him.

    Once again France proves to the world that she will not hesitate to do what is right!

    SHAME ON YOU OBAMA … S H A M E !!!

  14. b said:

    Congratulations France for having the guts to stand up to the barbarians. I am so proud of France. This is a great moment in the history of human rights. The USA should learn from this and do the same. My fellow Armenians: this is a long struggle. Cherish our Armenia. Do everything you can from every part of the world to help her. When you stand up for Armenia you stand up for civilization! Merci

  15. facts said:

    Turkey has become too rude. Beside this Turkish politicians have started to believe in there ‎own lies. That is way Turkey has created within Europe a kind of state within state …The ‎Turkish demonstration in Paris and treats of Turkey were like a wake up call for France and ‎other parts of Europe, simply because Armenian Genocide is a historical fact, which is being ‎aggressively denial by official Turkey!! ‎

    Armenia should look for ways demanding the nullifying or revision of the throaty of ‎Lausanne

  16. ARMENIAN said:

    BRAVO FRANCE !!! GOLDEN HISTORIC MOMENT !!! THE WORLD NEEDS TO PUT POLITICS ASIDE & TO KNOWLEDGE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE !!!

  17. MAZOD said:

    ARMENIANS, AND FRIENDS OF ARMENIANS, MUST INTENSIFY THE PRESSURE FOR ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RECOGNITION ACROSS EUROPE. THE tURKS WILL BOW DOWN AND BEG FOR FORGIVENESS.

    2012 TO-DO LIST:
    RETURN TO GOD AS THE FIRST CHRISTIAN NATION.
    JAIL CORRUPT AND FILTHY ARMENIAN POLITICIANS.
    INVEST IN ARMENIA’S EDUCATION.
    INVEST IN ARMENIA’S MILITARY.
    INVEST IN HIGH TECH, COMPUTER INDUSTRY.

  18. SHOWTIME said:

    Thank you France, we should all get together and go in front of the france consulant and show our respect and thank them…..

  19. Lev said:

    Thank you senators!!!!
    Sarkozi is next to ratify,
    I can only dream that US congressmen had the courage and guts to overcome lobbying of Turks
    Maybe ve can succeed

  20. SHOWTIME said:

    Thank you again France……. And turkey better know that were coming back hard, harder than they thought, just give us our lands back.

    • Joe Schmoe said:

      You are not getting one inch of soil. You plotted a land grab in 1915-1923 and you will fail at the land grab plot again.

  21. Ilaha Azizova said:

    France dug the grave for its international policy. Very irrational. It is not issue of human rights just simple pre-election game.

  22. Ararat said:

    Other than what this victory represents for the Armenians worldwide, I also equate this victory as a kick in the face of the Turkish bulldog Erdogan. He was humiliated and was faced head-on instead of throwing him the usual piece of bone to appease and calm him down.

    This wild boar Erdogan has said he may never travel to France if this law is passed. Such strong and empty words can only come out of the mouth of a Turkish coward Erdogan because, as a genocide denier, if he ever dares to travel to France he better pack his lunch and carry 43,000 Euros.

    France called on the Turkish bluff and the filthy nomadic Turkish child killers folded like lawn chairs. Bravo to France and its leadership.

  23. Hairenakitz on YouTube said:

    Armenia loves you… France
    Հայաստանը սիրում է ձեզ … Ֆրանսիա
    L’Arménie vous aime … France
    Armenien liebt dich … Frankreich
    Армения любит тебя … Франция
    Ermenistan sizi seviyor …Fransa
    亞美尼亞愛你… …法國
    L’Armenia vi ama … Francia
    أرمينيا يحبك… فرنسا

  24. Hrant K. said:

    What happened in France today makes President Obama look so bad, unless he follows suit and makes
    H. R .304 a binding one on the Senate Floor!!!!!!! A good ally does not vote against its allies in the
    Security Councel and does not endanger our boys’ lives and does not threaten a fellow ally nation.
    The Beacon of Freedom and Human Rights should be proven by the Wise and Beautiful!!!!!!

  25. Arshak Manukian said:

    Viva France for your honorable and just stand. French people have made an history for the world and mankind.
    No government should let the bullying Turkish government to blackmail it with threats of retaliation. The Genocidal Turkey has lost grounds on all fronts of her denial of her acts of Genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Asyrians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Arabs and the whole mankind.
    Is United States, Israel, England next to honor the Armenian Genocide? Yes they will. Very very soon.

  26. Tatevik said:

    Thanks France !!!!Viva France!!!!
    Merci!!!!! Vive la France!!!
    Que j’aime ce pays et cette nation!!!!!

  27. bayrakiniyakan said:

    NEXT AND VERY SOON JUST LIKE DOMINO EFFECT ..EU AND THE REST OF ALL EUROPE UK ISRAEL & USA !
    TURKEY GUILTY OF MANY GENOCIDES !
    ARMENIANS GREEKS ASSYRIANS !!

  28. zohrab said:

    to all armenians thank france for being a true honourablecountry who put morals before buisness.i suggest any armenian who wants to buy a car buy french car and all over the world call the french embassys and consulates thank them for their courage getce getce france katch

  29. ՍՏԵՓԱՆ ՍԵԴՐԱԿՅԱՆ said:

    շատ շնորհակալ ենք ֆրանսա հայերին հուսանք ամերիքայքի հայերնալ ասանք լաւ բամը ընեն

  30. Arshak Manukian said:

    It is written in Gold. Viva French people and Viva France. Long live Armenia. Long live Artsakh. Long live justice. The Genocidal Turkey has already written her own history, “Turkey the author of the Genocide.”

  31. Puzant said:

    Thank you, France and other European countries who are rightous, because that is where civilization
    started, hence the barbarian turky should not be allowed to join.

  32. John Ahmaranian said:

    Black stain, Mr. Davidoghlu? Look who is talking?
    From now on, be aware, Mr. Foreign Minister. You ar a “foreign” now in France and very soon in Europe.
    Be aware! Do not deny the Armenian Genocide in France or in Switserland. Otherwise you must pay
    $ 58,000 and put in jail.

  33. Raffi Bairamian said:

    Thank you France ,God Bless the efforts of the Armenian Diaspora ( And also Armenia ) and specially the French Armenians in giving to the Armenian People this golden gift. I am confident that other countries will follow the french exemple.Today we have Free and Independent ARMENIA & ARTSAKH , and the day will come when all our occupied lands will be liberated and we’ll create our Free and Independent WESTERN ARMENIA.

  34. Daniel said:

    Thank you France!!!!
    Now I can have croissant for breakfast, pâté sandwich in baguette for launch, Bordeaux wine and brie cheese for dinner, crème brulee for dessert and then I’ll go watch Tintin movie.

  35. Krikor said:

    Vive La France !!! from all the Armenians. France gave a leson in humanity to Obama ,other politicians and the rest of the world.
    Merci France
    God Bless the Armenians in France and around the world who fighrt for justice

  36. Arman said:

    This news will not even be mentioned in the American media! There is a terrible “glass ceiling” which the world’s greedy and unjust power system keeps Armenians from surpassing. Presidents and State Departments protect Turkey and insist on brushing Armenian Genocide related developments under the rug. THE FLOORS OF THE OVAL OFFICE AND STATE DEPARTMENT, UPON WHICH INDIVIDUALS WHO THINK THEY RULE THE WORLD WALK, ARE SOAKED IN BLOOD!!!!!!!! THEY MUST MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON JUSTICE AND THE RULE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, NOT ON GREED AND WICKED POLITICAL CALCULATIONS!!!

  37. Lusik said:

    The big news came from France. Viva France! And the heart of every Armenian got an extra impulse. The hearts resonated and a massive signal went to the sky. And the sky passed the signal to the wondering shadows of the million Armenians, who have perished century ago, suddenly, violently. Who said they are dead? They wait and watch now, and can wait and watch infinitely long. They continue in us. Until the justice is complete.
    Turks of past and present still don’t get it – they must blame themselves for a creation of this Great Wait pouring from the sky. Everywhere, all the Time. There is an “Armenian destiny”. There is a “Turkish destiny”. France has no second thought about that. Viva France!

  38. jack said:

    ARMENIANS IN US SHOULD HAVE A THANK YOU RALLIES IN FRONT OF THE FRENCH CONSULATE

    • Edward Demian said:

      I would distribute Red Roses to the demonstrators and have everyone throw them over the fence, while flying french flags, and signs saying: “Thank you France for the Humanity”.

  39. Sevan said:

    Viva Sarkozy! Viva France! Viva French Armenians! This is a super great victory for the Armenains and all rightous people across the world!

  40. Sirvart Garabedian said:

    Viva La France for your bravery taking action for justice. I hope other countries follow you to come forward and speak the truth of first Armenan Genocide and any Genocide happen everywhere. Bravo Armnenians in France & French Senate, allFrench people, Big Merci to Mr Sarkozi who kept his promise when visited Armenia witnessed the horror in Genocide Museum. Merci, Merci, Merci, GBU France for you didn’t cave in to Turkish deniers’ pressure, We love you France & French people.

  41. Arshak Manukian said:

    Wake up America. Wake up Israel, Wake up England. Wake up everybody….
    Can you hear me?
    It is the time to wake up!

  42. MK said:

    It is high time for countries like USA,GB,and others to practise what they preach to the world in terms of human rights,justice,and democracy, instead of constantly lying to their public,they have lost all credibility and the moral high ground as they have been found wanting.

    Merci France,Vive La France

  43. Harutuyn said:

    Thank you France for standing up to turkey for justice
    And turkeys threat was the new video game they cam eout with were they slap Sarkozy on the face
    turkey is forgetting that they allready showed there real face to the world with their fake threats and about killing French politicians all that is talk, the world should know by now that turkey needs the world -its not the other way around
    aman aman yes turkeri maman
    aman aman Anin varoxi maman
    aman aman Anin kandoxi maman
    aman aman mer vate uzoxi maman
    aman aman azerineri maman el

  44. Jacques Djan said:

    Merci pour La France et son people. S’espère que le Québec et le Canada vont poursuivre la même route.

  45. Svetlana Swanson said:

    Now we are waiting for the Parliament of Armenia to criminalize bribery by public officials and civil service workers in Armenia.

    • Zhorzh said:

      you are correct but corruption exist in any country including your Native Israel, oh I mean USA

  46. Sevan said:

    Thank you France! Thank you Sarkozy! Thank you French Armenians!
    This is a great victory for Armenian and a humiliating fiascc for trembling turkey.

  47. Zhorzh said:

    It is a great news, but lets not kid ourselves…..We need USA to recognize it as well, so others follow. Our biggest challenge is to have USA, England, Russia recognize the Genocide. Then Turkey can go F—-k themselves and do whatever they want. As a matter of fact they will have no choice but to accept…( to save their face in front of the world. As long as USA doesn’t recognize the Genocide, Turkey will deny the truth.

  48. leo said:

    before we all rush to thank France for its moral stance against turkey and for justice, lets look at the real reasons behind them. there are many and one main reason most fail to point out is turkey allowing russia to build the south stream. that project directly hits at europes darling Nabucco. this is a punishment for turkey. more punishment will follow during actual russian implementation of south stream.

  49. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    The European nations must have realized that the pain the Armenians were feeling is a pain that every one of them would have been feeling if it weren’t for the Armenians being massacred every ten years for thirteen hundred years , the Muslims would have conducted these periodic massacres of Christians in Spain, in Portugal, in Italy, in France, in England, in Ireland, in the US and Latin America. Armenians by taking these blows first, delayed the conquest of Western Christianity from this never-to-be-experienced fate.

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