Brussels, 18 December 2013.- The European Court of Human Rights in its ruling of December 17, 2013 has confirmed that the Armenian Genocide denial does not constitute a delinquent act. According to it, the decision adopted by the Court of Lausanne in 2007 condemning Dogu Perincek, the president of Worker’s Party of Turkey for his negationist statements violates the principles of freedom of expression.
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy condemns this statement to its very dangerous extent that preaches impunity in Europe and clears the way for the denial orchestrated by Ankara and Baku. Once again, referring to the principles of freedom of expression, the European Court, by its statement, has made void the rights for honor and dignity, the protection of Genocide victims and their descendants.
In the result of such a decision, if it is finalized, Armenians, trampled and impinged upon their rights will not find a protection and legal defense in Europe any more. Without an effective justice no one can confirm what kind of steps will be undertaken by the European citizens of Armenian origin in search of legal protection. This statement will enforce Turkish extremism that sees itself encouraged by this act – and silence the voices of truth being raised in Turkey.
Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights stating that “the term genocide does not constitute a consensus”, it equates to Pernicek’s denialist statement of “Armenian Genocide is an international lie”. Furthermore, how the ECHR can state that “this issue shall be distinguished clearly from that of Holocaust denial”? How is it possible to accept such a differentiation from the highest European court on Human Rights? The court obviously has misinterpreted its role, commenting historically and politically proven facts, on unfounded and extremely oversimplified arguments, without even consulting the International Genocide Scholars Association, which unanimously accepted the Armenian Genocide as such.
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, in collaboration with the French Office of the Armenian Cause and the Armenian National Committees all over Europe, will enact by all means to object to this ruling. At present, Switzerland has a period of three months to appeal against this ruling and ask for an appeal on this. Our efforts now shall be directed to following the execution of such appeal by Swiss authorities. For this purpose, the French Office of the Armenian Cause, has asked for a meeting with the Ambassador of Switzerland in France. Similar actions will be organized by different Committees of the Armenian Cause all over the world, in an agreed manner.