PARIS—French members of parliament voted unanimously Friday to criminalize the denial of all crimes against humanity, including the denial of the Armenian Genocide, reported Agence France Presse.
The amendment, passed on the first reading, sets out penalties of up to a year in prison and a 45,000-euro ($50,000) fine for those who fail to observe it.
Last month, the German parliament voted to recognize the Armenian Genocide, while last week while visiting Armenia, Pope France, reiterated the Vatican’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The French amendment, which must now go to the upper house Senate for approval, was a promise by President Francois Hollande during his 2012 electoral campaign.
An earlier law against Armenian Genocide denial was struck down by the country’s constitutional court for obstructing freedom of speech.
The new legal project covers all events which French law deems to be genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or slavery. Currently, French law only bans Holocaust denial.
“This text will punish the challenge or the trivialization of all crimes against humanity and war crimes,” said Ericka Bareigts, the junior minister in charge of equality was quoted as saying by the AFP. She said that included the Armenian Genocide.
“This is one of the greatest days of my political career,” enthused Henri Jibrayel, a member of parliament whose ancestors were Genocide survivors.
The new law’s backers hope to see it enter into force before the end of the year.