BRUSSELS—The Francophone Democratic Federalists (FDF) Party has introduced a bill to the lower house of the Federal Parliament of Belgium that proposes legal repercussions for denying the Armenian Genocide.
The FDF-submitted bill proposes to extend an existing law, enacted in 1995, that criminalizes the denial of genocides. The bill proposes to also apply that law to the Armenian and the Rwandan Genocides, and all other genocides that are internationally recognized through courts.
The FDF is also preparing to push for recognition of the Armenian Genocide at a regional and federal level.
In 1998, the Belgian Senate recognized the Armenian Genocide and called on Turkey to acknowledge its past
Meanwhile, a Socialist party member of the Belgian parliament Emir Kir, an ethnic Turk, has come under criticism for being absent during the observation of a minute of silence in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Belgian parliament. Kir has been notified by his party’s General Secretary that he will need to provide an explanation for his absence, as will the chairman of the Socialist party Elio Di Rupo.
Several members of parliament of Turkish origin were also absent from the ceremony in the Belgian parliament.
The leader of the French-speaking socialists reminded about his party’s consistent position on the matter. The party was one of the initiators of the 1998 resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and calling for recognition by Turkey.