France Strikes Down Armenian Genocide Denial Law
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  • Kris

    This obviously raises the question of why the Holocaust denial law should be allowed to stand. (As mentioned in previous threads, I oppose the introduction of such laws in the US, but believe that other political cultures legitimately have different calculi.)

  • Anthony

    Civil liberties and the rule of law…sinew and lodestar of Western Democracy that suffused Enlightenment thinkers.

    President Sarkozy’s political pandering appears to be universal trait among seekers of public office WRM – we have our own panderers right here in U.S.

  • Richard

    First, the law does not specifically mention the Armenian Genocide, but rather refers to the denial of any genocide recognized by France.

    Second, while French-Armenian votes may have been important, the law was also supported by the Socialists including Francois Hollande the leader who may succeed Sarkozy. Indeed as Kris above has said how can the Loi Gayssot which criminalizes the denial of the Holocaust now be maintained.

    Finally, Turkey has always been hypocritical on this issue. The infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code has long been used as a weapon to silence those who would discuss the Genocide (including Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_301_(Turkish_Penal_Code)

  • Matthew

    The French Gayssot Act of 1990 already makes it illegal to question crimes against humanity in France.

    Although a not-so-inconspicuous political move, the new law is by no means a new policy. It merely broadens the law to include the Armenian Genocide. As Richard points out, the law does not even mention the Armenian Genocide. It just mentions any event the French government recognizes as Genocide.

    For those of you seemingly against such laws (including Via Meadia) I would ask — do you, and if so how do you, reconcile your views with currently existing Holocaust legislation?

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Matthew: I’m on the record for many years as opposed to laws making Holocaust denial a crime. Being ignorant, prejudiced and loudmouthed should not land you in jail — though it can and will wreck your career and make you a laughingstock.

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