Samstag, Oktober 14, 2006



I cannot understand why France passed this bill making it a crime to deny Armenians suffered genocide by Ottoman Turks. There are similar laws in France, Austria, Germany and may other European Countries that punishes deniers of the Holocaust. This is clearly limiting the freedom of speech. Now where do I see the difference between the Holocaust denial law and the denial of the Armenian genocide bill?
Well, the holocaust denial bills were all passed between 1945 and 1950 in the countries that were part of the holocaust – right after World War II had ended. The Armenian Genocide bill is passed almost 90 years later in a country that had nothing to do with the Armenian Massacre though the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
As a clear civil libertarian I can accept that in context and time it was important to pass holocaust denial bills, but it would be strange to me if Hungary or Portugal would now pass a bill making its denial illegal.
I am convinced a law that tries to forbid anyone to think or say something cannot be successful.
I am in favour of increasing the pressure on countries that violate human rights and deny previous violations, I am fully aware that not all diplomatic measures are full used in this respect, I am happy to see that there is a public debate about it, but the suggested French bill will help no one. As a friend said to me on Thursday, it will be as relevant as a Danish newspaper publishing Jesus cartoons. It will be missing the point and failing to address the real issue.

Hi Bettina,

I'm not going to enter into the hart of debate here, but just this bit about the bill passed against the negation of holocaust:
France - loi Gayssot 1990
Belgique - Loi "Moureaux" - 1981 and "loi sur le negationnisme de l'holocauste juif" - 1995
Council of europe - article 6 of the additional protocol on the convention against cybercriminality - 30 january 2003
Switzerland - Article 261bis of the Penal Code - 1995.

As you can see, there's quite a few bills that have not been passed in the direct aftermath of the WW II. As a matter of fact, in most countries in those times, revisionists felt that it was not
the best of time for them to voice out their crap. Unfortunately, as time goes by, they are gaining in confidence again. And in my view, it is also the role of the state to fight them back with the weapon it has at hand - that is legislation.

As for the rest, the opposition between the position of Voltaire (I disagree with you but I'll fight to death for your right to state your opinion) and that of Saint-Just (No liberties for the ennemies of Liberty) is still a wide-open debate!

Big hugs,
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