Unhelpful French

The French parliament has just adopted a bill criminalising the denial of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks in 1915. The penalty will be up to a year in jail and a heavy fine.

What the hell are they thinking? Turkey wants to join the EU, but is constantly criticised for prosecuting artists and writers who commit such crimes as “insulting Turkishness”. France is hardly setting an example as a beacon of free expression here.

The bill still needs approval from the Senate and the president, so there is still a possibility they will step back from the brink.

5 Responses to “Unhelpful French”

  1. BSE says:

    Yes and lets not forget Belgium with its Genocide denial laws which prohibit denying the Armenian Genocide yet allow people to deny the Belgium Genocide in the Congo under King Leopold… Just goes to show how these laws are unworkable on yet another level… selective amnesia anyone?

  2. Neil Hoskins says:

    I read this. They’ve really lost the plot, haven’t they?

  3. Nick says:

    Is France one of the half dozen or so European countries that criminalise holocaust denial? If so, their parliament would do better to strike a blow for free speech by repealing that law.

  4. passerby says:

    The Belgian ‘Negationism Law’ does not cover the Armenian genocide. An attempt to expand it to cover Armenia and Rwanda got nowhere and was postponed.
    Interstingly in countries where there are significant Turkish minorities, politicians mentioning it quickly results in controversy, with otherwise liberal-leaning parties otherwise commited to human rights getting wishy-washy over it so as not to upset their Turkish voters (who often vote overwelmingly for left-leaning parties). Thats happening in the Netherlands right now in the lead up to the elections there, and its been brought up in most elections in Belgium since the late 1990s.
    Otherwise a dumb idea all round, ironicly, its something France seems to have in common with Turkey.