ETCHMIADZIN—His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, has sent his written concerns regarding the unacceptable ruling issued on December 17, 2013, by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the lawsuit of Doğu Perinçek v. Switzerland. Perinçek, a Turkish politician, was convicted under Switzerland’s hate speech law for publicly challenging the legal characterization of the Armenian genocide, calling it “an international lie” and had lost all appeals in Switzerland, eventually appealing to the ECHR.
His Holiness has dispatched a letter to Dider Bulkharter, President of the Swiss Confederation, expressing rejection of the decision, on behalf of the Armenian Church and all Armenians dispersed throughout the world, in response to the shocking ruling by the ECHR. His Holiness conveyed that the ruling was a threat against establishing justice in the case of genocide crimes, and creating peace and mutual respect among nations. Supporting universal rejection on this matter, the Catholicos of All Armenians has addressed and exhorted the Swiss Government, particularly the Ministry of Justice, to make an appeal against this case. His Holiness Karekin II has urged all the people and nations of good will to express their positions regarding this case against Genocide denial for eradicating discrimination and intolerance and preventing crimes against humanity.
The Catholicos of All Armenians has also sent an official letter to Rev. Dr. Olve Fyske Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, detailing the facts and legal analysis of the case, and encouraging the member Churches to raise their voices against this unfortunate decision, lending their support in encouraging Switzerland to appeal this decision. His Holiness additionally sent a letter to Bishop Markus Büchel, President of the Conference of Bishops of Switzerland.