French Senate commission finds genocide bill ‘unacceptable’
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
French UMP party deputy Valerie Boyer participates in a parliamentary vote on the 'genocide' bill. REUTERS PhotoFrance’s Constitutional Commission has declared that a bill that would criminalize denials of the 1915 events as genocide is contrary to the constitution, daily Hürriyet reported today.
Twenty-three members voted for the change that requires the bill to be reconsidered before putting it to a Senate vote scheduled for Jan. 23. Nine voted against the change, while eight chose to abstain.
The commission's negative response to the bill cannot prevent the Senate from voting on the motion, but it is expected to have a strong impact on members.
If the General Assembly accepts the commission's proposal for changes, the motion will be dropped without further voting. A previous bill that aimed to penalize denials of Armenian genocide claims was dropped in May 2011 following the commission's decision.
If the French Senate approves the bill on Jan. 23, French civil servants will lobby to make Armenian genocide allegations a part of the EU’s framework decision. The framework has been used by EU member countries to fight racism and criminalize Holocaust denial.
If the French bill passes, those found guilty of denying the genocide would be sentenced to one year in jail and fined 45,000 euros.