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France makes it illegal to deny Armenian Genocide

January 24, 2012 by  
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The French Senate today has passed a bill that makes it illegal to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill passed by 127 votes against 86, despite major Turkish opposition. Due to Turkish opposition the bill was modified not to mention the Armenian genocide, but to outlaw the denial of any genocide. However, this did not stop Turks from backing away with their opposition and they have threatened to cut ties with France and remove their diplomatic presence in Paris.

The bill renders denial punishable with a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($58,000).

The bill now goes to President Nicolas Sarkozy to be ratified. Turkey says the bill is a bid by Sarkozy to win the votes of 500,000 ethnic Armenians in France in the two-round presidential vote on April 22 and May 6.

“This day will be written in gold not only in the history of friendship between the Armenian and French peoples, but also in the annals of the history of the protection of human rights,” said Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Nalbandian, reported Reuters.

Back in 2001 France passed a law recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Armenians in Paris waiting for French Senate to pass vote.