Geoffrey Robertson Hopes Court Will Overrule ‘Irresponsible’ Statement On Armenian Genocide

Geoffrey Robertson (R) with Amal Clooney (L) at the ECHR Grand Chamber session on the case of Perincek v. Switzerland in January
Geoffrey Robertson (R) with Amal Clooney (L) at the ECHR Grand Chamber session on the case of Perincek v. Switzerland in January (Source: Armenpress)

Geoffrey Robertson (R) with Amal Clooney (L) at the ECHR Grand Chamber session on the case of Perincek v. Switzerland in January (Source: Armenpress)

YEREVAN (News.am)—Attorney and renowned human rights advocate Geoffrey Robertson hopes that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber will overrule the irresponsible statement made by three lower court judges who said there might be doubt surrounding the Armenian Genocide.

The ECHR will be delivering its Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Perincek v. Switzerland on Thursday.

“I intervened in this case with Amal Clooney on behalf of the government of Armenia in order to refute this foolish comment about genocide,” Robertson said in an e-mail response to an inquiry by Armenian NEWS.am.

“It does not much matter what the court decides about Perincek—he is a worthless provocateur—so long as it rules that free speech cannot be criminalized unless it carries an incitement to violence or to racial hatred.  Such a ruling would strike at the oppressive section 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code under which a number of Turkish Armenians, including Hrant Dink, have been prosecuted in Turkey for telling the truth about the Armenian genocide.”

A delegation led by Prosecutor General of Armenia Gevorg Kostanyan, who is also the Armenian government’s representative at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), has already left for Strasbourg.

In 2008, a Swiss court had convicted Turkish ultranationalist politician Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian Genocide. In December 2013, the ECHR had ruled in favor of Perincek’s lawsuit that was filed against Switzerland. Subsequently, the government of Switzerland petitioned that the case be referred for a review by the ECHR Grand Chamber.

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