PARIS—France’s National Assembly Thursday voted to send a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, introduced by Valérie Boyer, back to the Justice Commission, which had discussed the measure on November 25.
The majority of the parliament members who took turns to speak supported the measure with 26 votes cast in favor and 12 against the measure.
“It is time for France to take the responsibility which it has in the protection of democracy. I hope that Parliament members will be united during the vote on draft,” Boyer said in her opening remarks.
The Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) issued a statement thanking Boyer for her leadership, adding that the majority support from legislators is proof that the view is largely shared within the National Assembly.
The CCAF said that it expected the ruling party, as well as all human rights activists to take the lead and declare unacceptable the denial of the Armenian Genocide set legal punitive guidelines.
The group also said that French President Francois Hollande must be held accountable to his earlier promises of support for such a measure and will move swiftly for its adoption as law.
A bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide was adopted by the French Parliament’s lower house on December 22, 2011 and its upper house—the Senate—on January 23, 2012. However; it was declared unconstitutional by France’s highest judicial body, the Constitutional Council, on February 29, 2012.