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ECHR upholds judgment passed against Switzerland based on Doğu Perinçek’s lawsuit

“Member states of the Council of Europe will not be able to criminalize anyone for the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide”

Strasbourg. Fuad Gulubeyli – APA. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld the decision passed against Switzerland based on Chairman of Turkey’s Patriotic Party Doğu Perinçek’s lawsuit dated 17 December 2013.

 

The Grand Chamber has decided that launching a criminal case in a democratic country against Doğu Perinçek for protecting the rights of an Armenian community who live therein, is not right. The decision was announced by ECHR President Dean Spielmann himself. According to the decision, member states of the Council of Europe will not be able to criminalize anyone for the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide.

 

Turkish Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Doğu Perinçek was detained for his statement “the Armenian genocide is an international lie!” during a rally in the Swiss city of Lausanne on 25 July 2005. After being released only with the interference of Turkey, Perinçek was sentenced to 3-month imprisonment under the court judgment, but his sentence was commuted to fine. In June 2008, his attorney Mehmet Cengiz filed a lawsuit to the European Court of Human Rights against the Swiss government for the restriction of freedom of speech and expression. On 17 December 2013, the court upheld the lawsuit and passed a judgment on the violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Switzerland’s restriction of freedom of speech and expression. The decision also noted that the events of 1915 could not be accepted as “Armenian genocide”. On 16 March 2014, the Swiss government filed an appeal against the ECHR judgment. The process was later joined by France and Armenia.  

 

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