PARIS —The French Constitutional Council on Thursday has ruled against the criminalization of genocide denial, Nouvelles d’Armenie reported.
The Council stated that it is an “unnecessary and disproportionate attack against freedom of speech” and rescinded the ruling which labeled the denial as a “hate crime.”
“This ruling causes uncertainty regarding expressions and comments on historical matters. Thereby, this ruling is an unnecessary and disproportionate attack against freedom of speech,” the Council said.
The French Senate on October 14, 2016 approved a bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide. The law carried the punishment of a 45,000-euro fine to all those who failed to observe it.
In response to the repealing of the law, the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) has said “the Constitutional Council has the moral and political responsibility for exposing many French citizens, and especially those of Armenian origin, to the aggression with complete impunity of Turkey’s state denial.”
The CCAF said they will “never accept such a submission and will continue to denounce and combat denialism which has no connection with any historical debate and instead participates in the justification of the crime of genocide.”