French Genocide Bill Deemed Unconstitutional

France's Constitutional Council

PARIS—The French Constitutional Council just issued a statement considering the bill penalizing the denial of genocides unconstitutional, arguing that it curbs freedom of speech. The bill would have rendered punishable the denial of genocides France has officially recognized, like the Armenian genocide. France already has a law in place penalizing Holocaust denial.

Turkey welcomed the ruling. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the cabinet would meet to consider restarting contacts with France, which were frozen after the French parliament passed the bill on Jan. 23, reported Reuters.

Armenian National Committee of France Executive Director Hratch Varjabedian, speaking to Yekir Media, condemned the decision, stating that the French Court succumbed to Turkey’s political pressure. He announced that the French Armenian community plans to protest the decision and work with legislators to move the issue forward through other avenues, as part of the ongoing effort to seek justice for the Armenian Genocide.


The Constitutional Council had three options in addressing the genocide bill: It could have ruled that the resolution as approved is consistent with the constitution, and thus pave the way for a presidential signature; could have determined that portions of the bill are not consistent with the French Constitution, in which case the bill would return to the National Assembly to be amended (which could cause problems, since the National Assembly will go on vacation to prepare for the presidential elections); or could have found the resolution entirely unconstitutional, in which case French President Nicolas Sarkozy would have to re-introduce the matter in the National Assembly.

On Feb. 1, two ministers told AFP that Sarkozy will immediately submit a new draft of a law punishing denial of the Armenian Genocide if France’s top judicial body rejects it.

“The president told us in cabinet that he would immediately submit a new draft if there is a rejection by the Constitutional Council” of a bill approved recently by the French Parliament, said one of the ministers, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another minister said Sarkozy criticized cabinet members who had opposed the bill, saying, they “did not see past the ends of their noses.”

He said a rejection of the bill by the Constitutional Council could open the door to questioning a law that penalizes denial of the Holocaust.

After being approved by the National Assembly and Senate, the law was put on hold on Jan. 31 after politicians opposed to the legislation demanded that its constitutionality be examined.

Two separate groups of French politicians who oppose the legislation–from both the Senate and the Lower House–had formally requested the Constitutional Council to examine the law. The groups said they each had gathered more than the minimum 60 signatures required to ask the council to test the law’s constitutionality.

By law, the council was obliged to deliver its judgment within a month.

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

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


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  1. Ani said:

    With their logic,the same (bought off by Turkey and Azerbokjian) Senators etc. must now reject the Gayssot Act. MAD HYPOCRITES!!!
    Dirty politics and bullying by the Turks has resulted in progressive legislation being thwarted. The Turks slaughtered and butchered the Armenians and the descendants of the Turkish butchers continue to lie and to claim that the Genocide did not happen. These murderous turk savages would do it again given half a chance.
    Turkey is now needed against Syria and that is why the Courts in France had overturned what is clearly a crime against humanity.

  2. oguz Tolga said:

    Parliements can not re-write the History..
    Armenians must say yes to the “”A Comittee of Historians””to search the facts…

    • zareh said:

      The facts are well established by the International Society of Genocide Scholars.
      Now get the hell out of Asbarez website and join the group that shouts Armenians are “bastards”

    • Ermeni said:

      There is no committee needed. A genocide happened. Period. Your leaders at the time openly admitted it. The media at the time clearly documented it. A people inhabiting Western Armenia is no longer there. Who are you kidding by pretending that it is an event that is disputable? Get real and admit the crime that you blood thirsty criminals are proud of deep inside. Shame on your country and race.

    • Parsik said:

      listen well oguz doghuz and convey this to your goverment’s statemen, and drive this in your thick nomadic skull, that any Armenian representive (including from any stripes and wide range of money-hungry oligarkhs who hug and kiss with your president in the football stadium at home to these tamed newwave all-American Dashnaks who let this kind of nonesense groundshaking comments to be endorsed at this site) to say yes to your wishfull thinking and to sit down with your western prepaid puppet historians to “re-write” and re-fabricate atleast mine and many others own family history which we know is true and valid for certain, they will be coined as traitors by real Armenian nation all over the world and believe me they will be doomed to vanish in the next pages of real history of the world!

      P.S. I bet now they will block my comment, so could you still daydream for some vague shadow of hope in your heart!

  3. hrag masalian said:

    Turkey threat to france if france were accept that Turkey would close french factories in bursa kocaeli peugeot car factories usually economical reason.

  4. Ed said:

    Signing the protocols which included a commission of historians to discuss the armenian genocide is the main reasoin why other nations to not want to interfere in this question.The traitors in Armenia, Nalbandian, Sarkisian and many businessman like Arsen Ghazarian are responsible!

    • Hayk said:

      Are you kidding me?
      What does this have to do with protocols?
      Look! if one man needs to find an excuse to do or not do some thing there is always other excuses so stop blaming protocols.
      One more thing protocols never sad “commission of historians to discuss the armenian genocide”
      it sad intergovernmental commission, that is totally different thing

  5. Parsik said:

    it is name of the game they politician play, Obama or his European poodle parades alike, you Armenians tend to never learn anything , stop being abused and do something about the nation yourself !

  6. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    I feel it is better for Armenians who live in Turkey…
    We don’t want harm to them…
    We should think about them not only our selves…
    AS we live in free counties respecting human rights…

    See what they did in many cities…Against Armenians
    I say the same…
    I rather live with Beduins in the desert
    Under their tents
    And not to see those criminal faces
    They are born with no principles…
    This is their genes, no one can change…
    The world knows them very well…
    They are the weeds of a cultivated grass…
    Their principles are… “kill and confiscate…”
    And prove by lies and denials they are innocents…
    What else you can expect …!
    The world knows very well who are they…
    They proved it by themselves…!
    No more comments.


    • Tsayt said:

      No, the French CC made sure that the Gayssot Law is protected from this decision. In their decision to strike down the Sarkozy-initiated law, the CC went out of its way to underline that neither the Gayssot law nor the French parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2001 will be affected by this decision. The “loi de Gayssot” is the 1990 French law that criminalizes the negation of the Holocaust.

      The problem is the 2001 recognition of the AG is only “declaratif” which means it has no judicial power to enforce this on its citizens. It remains an official opinion.

    • zareh said:

      what kind of a “stupid” question is that. They are the “chosen people” and we are the “just regular people”.

  7. hye4life said:

    so what is next? what are the next steps. Do we start going after questioning the ligality of Holocaust, Why would that event get preferential treatment then? Is opposing and questioning the events of Holocaust not against the freedom of speach?

    • zareh said:

      I bet if the Armenians go back and ask the “Constitutional Court” to do the same to the Gayssot Law the court’s response would be the statute of limitations have expired to cancel that law.

  8. Satenik said:

    France has to think carefully not to massage the ego of the Turks too much. One day France will be flooded by the Turks and they may may need to scape to a “friendly” country. Already Europe is being taken over by the undesirable elements. I am afraid Europeans never learn ,when they realise what they have done, it will be too late.They always favour the Turks at their peril. Here in the UK David Cameron loke Tone Blair before him is doing his best to let the UK be invaded further by the Turks. Shame on all of them!

  9. Raffi Bairamian said:

    By rejecting this law`, the French law makers have violated their own constitution by considering that penalizing of the denial of the Armenian Genocide is an attempt to the freedom of speech while it is OK to penalize any one who denies the jewish holocast. No, the denial of the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IS A RACIST SPEECH and has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.I am confident that the day will come and the whole free and democratic world will penalize this racist speech on denying the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE and we will return to our liberated homeland Western Armenia. God Bless the Armenian Nation

  10. Satenik said:

    So the French are more concerned about pleasing the Turks than seeing that justice prevails for their own French citizens of Armenian descent. Nice One!

  11. Matt said:

    My great grandfather had been taken away by Turkish jandarmas, and never came back. He was an innocent man who made a decent living out of his craftsmanship. My grandmother waited for him to come back for years. She then met someone else and remarried. When we looked into our family’s registry our first great grandfathers name was not there. It had been erased. This is how well the Turks are good at getting rid of evidence. If this is what they did in the past who knows what they would do in the future.

  12. zohrab said:

    calm down everyone its the continuation of french democracy and it is heading in the right direction it will be done but more correctly. and permanantly

  13. Alexander The Great Armo said:

    We are like children! I said when then this whole situation started in December that this will go the way it always has, give a little happiness to Armenian on the issue of Armenian Genocide then take it away for political gain by the ruling party. Satisfy both Armenians and Turks at the same time. This was the most expected situation. It’s really simple to sign the law, but they didn’t do it because it was orchestrated to be this way. They could of recognize this as genocide in 1920’s but they didn’t because there are other elements that are involved.
    First, US, Europeans and Russia don’t give a damn about Armenia or Armenians, proof to that if they did they would of picked the side of victims.
    Second, there is something on the table that Turks have put up almost 100 years ago that EU, US and Russian are not willing to be taken of the table.
    Third, in order for us, Armenians, to succeed we need to play the dirty politics the Turks have been playing to gain a real advantage and not sense of advantage or progress or any other type of illusion these parties/states create to distract Armenians on what is really going on.

  14. Hamasdegh said:

    No need to over-react. This is a process that had a bump. Let us keep our eye on the ball.

  15. Steven Kocay said:

    this is not something good for Turks,, this is good for France.
    Today French Law proved that the will of a person (sarkozy) can never be above the law. additionally that was an obvious game of sarkozy to take the armenian votes.
    Are the armenians still going to vote for sarkozy?

  16. ottoman said:

    it seems sarkozy will have to redraft it 10 000 times in the future ))) ahahaaaaaaahahahaha

  17. arman said:

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

    Hey Turkish Ambassador, why don’t you stay in Turkey and don’t bother coming back to France, since you like to pull capricious whining fits!! LOL you tucked tail and came back a mere few weeks late huh??? lol PUNKS

  18. zareh said:

    Miyayn zenkov gah hayots pergoutyoun.

    The French did the same thing in Cilicia after the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Thousands of Armenians had returned to Cilicia after the French troops occupied Cilicia and overnight the French troops retreated after a deal was made between France and Ataturk, with Ataturk promising to do business with France if they retreated. No surprise to say that most of the Armenians who returned to their homes were attacked again by the Turkish army and were killed. Yes, this is all after the Genocide.
    The lesson is NEVER trust the Europeans or the Americans. They only care about money. They give beautiful speeches about human rights but under the table they make deals with the devil.
    They talk about the human rights of the Syrian people but ignore the human rights of Bahrain’s majority Shiite community.

  19. hi said:


  20. ertugrul gazi said:

    raffi bairamian you cant get any land without fight with turks and kurds in anatolia you should know that in Turkey 74 million people ready to kill armenians because we hate armenians since 1071

  21. An Armenian said:

    Wow, the French government is taking dictations from the Turkish government as well. How sad for the French people. I would not have expected this from France. As Sarkozy said it himself, the Cabinet members “did not see past the ends of their noses.”


    Turkey (The Plague) = 1 France and the rest of Europe = 0

    The Turks are coming. The Turks are coming. Europe be aware of the plague.

  22. Pingback: French Senate Passes Bill Criminalizing Armenian Genocide Denial |