Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Dec. 17 that denial of the 1915 mass killings of Armenians as genocide falls within the limits of freedom of expression, following an appeal from a Turkish politician against his conviction in Switzerland.

Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Doğu Perinçek, who had described the Armenian genocide as an “international lie,” had complained that Swiss courts had breached his freedom of expression, based on Article 10 covering freedom of expression.

The ECHR ruling stated that “the free exercise of the right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature is one of the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression and distinguishes a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a totalitarian or dictatorial regime.”

The original case emerged from Perinçek’s participation in a number of conferences in Switzerland in 2005, during which he publicly denied that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people in 1915.

The Lausanne Police Court found Perinçek guilty of racial discrimination on March 9, 2007, based on the Swiss Criminal Code. After a complaint filed by the Switzerland-Armenia Association on July 15, 2005, the court found that Perinçek’s motives were of a “racist tendency” and did not contribute to the historical debate.

Elaborating on the jurisprudence of the case, the ECHR said the existence of genocide, which is a precisely defined legal concept, was not easy to prove.

It also expressed its doubt that there could be a general consensus on the issue, given that historical research was by definition open to discussion and a matter of debate, without necessarily giving rise to final conclusions or to the assertion of objective and absolute truths.

Furthermore, the ECHR ruled that states that have not enacted laws imposing criminal sanctions on individuals questioning the official view on the issue are “mindful that one of the main goals of freedom of expression is to protect minority views.”

Perinçek was handed an aggravated life sentence in the Ergenekon coup plot trial, as part of the Ergenekon network, which was ultimately acknowledged by the court as a terrorist organization that had attempted to overthrow the government.

The latest judgment is not final, as any party may request that the case be referred to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber for a three-month period after the verdict.
Source: Hurriyet

Note, however, that the same "right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature" doesn't apparently extend to the Holocaust. Roger Garaudy, the former communist turned Muslim, who designed the Muslim propaganda centre in Cordoba, was convicted of Holocaust denial in France and appealed to the ECHR.
Adversaries of legislation against Holocaust denial have argued that such laws restrict the basic human right of freedom of expression. An authoritative answer was given by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in its judgment of 24 June 2003 against French denier Roger Garaudy. He had appealed against the dismissal of his earlier appeal by the French Court of Cassation following his conviction for several offenses involving denial.

The ECHR noted that:
There are limits to freedom of expression; the justification of a pro-Nazi policy cannot enjoy the protection of Article 10 and the denial of clearly established historical facts-such as the Holocaust-are removed by Article 17 from the protection of Article 10. As regards the applicant’s convictions for denying crimes against humanity, the Court refers to Article 17: in his book the applicant calls in question the reality, degree and gravity of historical facts relating to the Second World War which are clearly established, such as the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime, the Holocaust and the Nuremberg trials. Denying crimes against humanity is one of the most acute forms of racial defamation towards the Jews and of incitement to hatred of them.


Anonymous said...

I do not deny the Holocaust happened. It was murder writ large. There may be disagreements on the scale of it, whether it was six million or one million, but that makes no real difference to me.

On the one hand, I do not like this law. Making it illegal to deny anything seems an oppressive and authoritarian position for a government to take.

On the other hand, after seeing how many insane conspiracy theories, weaved by the minds of paranoid schizophrenics, exist out there, and how quickly the gullible latch on to them, maybe the law is needed.

If you think I am exaggerating just browse some of the sites out there. Very few if any can have rational discussions on this topic. It got so bad at TOO that the comments section had to be closed. It. Became. Insane.

Anonymous said...

The latest from the moslem world is that the Jews have learned how to make eathquakes happen at will and plan on using this technology to destroy moslems. I kid you not.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the "six gazillion" number really is a myth is more than enough reason to hate the law that prevents challenging the "Shoah guilt Industry"

Anonymous said...

The law against holocaust revisionism is totalitarian in nature and has no place in a democracy. People should be able to make up their own minds what they want to believe in not be dictated to by the state or minority groups. Roger Garaudy was convicted and fined a large sum of money for writing the book THE FOUNDING MYTHS OF ISRAELI POLITICS -


Surrounded by liars,historical truth is impossible and if courts can decide categorically what is and is not freedom of speech,then we have already lost it.Just bear in mind that with modern methods it takes 80 minutes to cremate a body,after which one is left with approx. 8 pounds of bone,now multiply by 10 million.

Anonymous said...

Would you deny Jasenovac?

Anonymous said...

you can deny ANYTHING that is not the fact.The Holocaust was the fact, you cannot deny it.
The so-called Armogen is a myth, NOT a fact, so, go ahead and deny it.
Fair anough.

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