Clinton says US would not criminalize speech

Clinton says US would not criminalize speech

Clinton says US would not criminalize speech

The issue was a matter of historical, rather than political, debate, Clinton says referring to ‘genocide’ claims. AP photo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States does not criminalize speech, but other states have different standards, responding to a question Jan. 26 on the French bill criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide allegations.

“People can say nearly anything they choose, and they do, in our country,” said Clinton. “Other countries, including France, have different standards, different histories [...] But we are, I hope, never going to go down that path to criminalize speech,” said Clinton, according to the website of the U.S. Department of State. 

She also said the issue was a matter of historical, rather than political, debate. Clinton said it was a dangerous path to try to resolve historical issues through government power. “Whatever the terrible event might be, or the high emotions that it represents, to try to use government power to resolve historical issues, I think, opens a door that is very dangerous to go through,” she said.

Armenian Diaspora to increase pressure

The Armenian Diaspora in the United States is prepared to increase its pressure on the government to approve a resolution on Armenian claims of genocide after French senators approved a bill Jan. 23.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian said Armenians will use the French bill as an example to pressure the U.S. Congress. “We mark this occasion by urging President Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide and by calling on the U.S. House leadership to allow a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.304,” Hamparian said, according to Armenian Weekly. Around 88 U.S. senators have signed the H.Res.304 so far.

Washington-based Turkish-American Associations Assembly said the French bill limits personal freedoms.