French President Re-Launches Law To Criminalize Denial of Genocide
PARIS (AFP) – French President Francois Hollande attended the annual dinner of the Co-ordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) on January 28.
Addressing the meeting, President Hollande said he had re-launched the debate on a law that would punish the denial of the Armenian genocide by entrusting a mission to the former President of the European Court of Human Rights Jean-Paul Costa. “I’ve asked Jean-Paul Costa to search any solid, incontestable route that would protect the memory of the Armenian genocide,” said the head of state. He said that Jean-Paul Costa will in a “very short time,” review the “conclusions” that will guarantee there will be no legal dispute.
He added that a law that could be condemned by the European Court of human Rights would be “a terrible defeat for France and the Armenian Cause.
The President assured the initiative had “nothing to do with future elections.” “The challenge is to reconcile,” he said, noting that “Armenia as Turkey will always find France at their side to help them advance on the path of dialogue.”
The CCAF presented four medals of bravery. The first medal was awarded to the Socialist Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, for her “unwavering commitment to the Armenians,” as recalled Mourad Papazian. He stated all she had done for the community during the genocide centennial: exhibition in the town hall of Paris, presence in the presidential delegation in Yerevan April 24, 2015 and then to the Komitas statue in Paris, her initiative to turn off the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
The three other awardees were Republicans MP Patrick Devedjian, Mark Moogalian, who helped prevent a terrorist act in a Paris-bound train and Meral Cildir, Vice President of the Turkish Association of Human Rights.