Amendment Would Punish Genocide Denial

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A presidential human rights commission drafted and submitted to the Armenian parliament for approval–an amendment to the criminal code that would set criminal responsibility for denying facts about genocide.

Under the proposed amendment–persons found guilty of publishing materials in the press denying genocide–or utilizing any method to disseminate such materials–as well as preparing or keeping such facts for further dissemination–would be fined one hundred times the set minimum wage–or sentenced to a two-year prison term.

The amendment also stipulates that persons responsible for preparation–publication or dissemination of such information–at the order of a foreign country or organization–shall be sentenced to three years in prison.

Though the current Armenian criminal code adopted in 1961 does contain a clause on punishing genocide denial–the commission revealed that the proposed amendment serves to fill the gap in the new criminal code passed by parliament in the first reading on April 18.

The commission said the bill was developed and based on the relevant Council of Europe convention and the 1948 UN convention on the prevention and punishment of genocides.

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