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#21 Yervant1

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:34 AM

18:34 25/02/2014 » IN THE WORLD

Turkey rights group disappointed in ECHR decision, urges appeal

The Human Rights Association (HRA) in Turkey issued a letter addressed to the Swiss Minister of Justice, expressing the organization’s disappointment with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Armenian Genocide denial, the Armenian Weekly reports. 
“As human rights defenders in Turkey, we are the most immediate, most direct witnesses of how the denial of the genocide against Amenians and other Christian ethnic groups of Asia Minor has right from the start generated an anti-democratic system, allowing racist hatred, hate crimes and violation of the freedom of expression and the human rights in general,” argued HRA in a copy of the letter received by the Armenian Weekly.
HRA concluded: “In the name of human rights, of the struggle against racist hatred and of justice in Turkey and elsewhere, we would like to express our belief that the Swiss Court’s decision to penalize Doğu Perinçek’s denialism was a step to protect us all, the entire humanity against racism, and our heartfelt support to Swiss Court’s exercising its right to appeal against the ECHR decision dated 17 December 2013.”
 
 

Source: Panorama.am



#22 Yervant1

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:17 AM

asbarez_01_460x101.jpg

Monday, February 24th, 2014

 

 

Turkey Rights Group Disappointed in ECHR Decision, Urges Appeal

 

insan_haklari_dernegi-250x300.jpg

Turkey's Human Rights Association (Insan Haklari Dernegi)

Human Rights Association of Turkey Urges Switzerland to Appeal European Court Decision on Genocide Denial

ISTANBUL—The Human Rights Association (HRA) in Turkey issued a letter addressed to the Swiss Minister of Justice, expressing the organization’s disappointment with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Armenian Genocide denial.

“As human rights defenders in Turkey, we are the most immediate, most direct witnesses of how the denial of the genocide against Amenians and other Christian ethnic groups of Asia Minor has right from the start generated an anti-democratic system, allowing racist hatred, hate crimes and violation of the freedom of expression and the human rights in general,” argued HRA in a copy of the letter received by the Armenian Weekly.

HRA concluded: “In the name of human rights, of the struggle against racist hatred and of justice in Turkey and elsewhere, we would like to express our belief that the Swiss Court’s decision to penalize Doğu Perinçek’s denialism was a step to protect us all, the entire humanity against racism, and our heartfelt support to Swiss Court’s exercising its right to appeal against the ECHR decision dated 17 December 2013.”

Below is the full text of the letter.

***

To:

Mrs. Simonetta Sommaruga

Minister of Justice and Police of the Swiss Confederation

Prof. Dr. Frank Schürmann

Chief of the Division European Law and International Protection of Human Rights, the Federal Office for Justice

We, as the Human Rights Association in Turkey (HRA), are writing this letter to you to express our disappointment at the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) decision dated 17 December 2013 rejecting the Swiss court decisions of 2007 to penalize Doğu Perinçek’s denial of the Armenian genocide and our unconditional and firm support of Swiss jurisdiction’s using its right to appeal against ECHR’s decision.

As human rights defenders in Turkey, we are the most immediate, most direct witnesses of how the denial of the genocide against Armenians and other Christian ethnic groups of Asia Minor has right from the start generated an anti-democratic system, allowing racist hatred, hate crimes and violation of the freedom of expression and the human rights in general.

In the case of the successive governments of the Republic of Turkey, the ultra-nationalists and the Turkish public loyal to the official thesis, denial is not just to say “We didn’t do it” or “What we did was no genocide.” Here in Turkey denial means criminalizing the victims and encouraging hatred towards Armenians. In other words denial becomes the continuation of the genocide and the genocidal intent in Turkey. In order to deny the genocide, the system argues and urges the society to believe that:

(i) It is the Armenians to blame, i.e., they deserved what they got.

(ii) Armenians are the enemies of Turkish people.

(iii) Armenians stabbed the Ottomans and the Turks in the back, they are treacherous and what was done to them was a war-time necessity for the survival of Turkey.

(iv) Armenians, both at home and abroad, are still a threat to the Republic of Turkey and Turks.

Not a passive, peaceful denial but aggressive onslaught

Consequently in Turkey denial is not just a passive position, but it is an active aggression, creating a racist environment fully exposed to sheer violence. This has paved the way for Armenians in Turkey to be treated as a “fifth column” throughout the Republican history, to be discriminated against, to be destined to lead their lives in constant fear as their lives were threatened during various nationalist upheavals and pogroms that took place during the Republican period. The word “Armenian” has become a word of curse so widespread to include an interior minister of the Republic who openly used it in public (in 1997 by Meral Akşener). This racist hateful environment led to not only verbal but physical assaults on Armenians. Hrant Dink, the chief editor of Agos, the first and only Armenian weekly newspaper published in Turkish in Republican history, and a prominent supporter of human rights, democracy and freedom of expression was assassinated in cold blood in 2007, although he had always been against hatred and animosity on the part of Armenians towards Turks, advocating instead a reconciliatory stance of mutual understanding. The Armenian private Sevag Şahin Balıkçı, was shot dead on 24 April 2011 (i.e. on the day when Armenians worldwide commemorate the beginning of the genocide of 1915) while doing his military service in the Turkish army in southeast province Batman by another Turkish private. The investigation leading to trial was totally untrustworthy, as the witnesses’ superiors putting pressure on them to confirm the suspect’s statement that it was an “accident” was reported in the newspapers. The court decided that the intentional murder was a result of “gross carelessness,” disregarding all evidence that it was a hate crime, and sentenced the suspect to only 5 years’ imprisonment. Another incident took place on 26 February 2012 when, orchestrated by Turkish and Azerbaijani governments, a big demonstration took place on Taksim square, the largest and most central square in Istanbul, for condemning the “Khojaly Genocide,” the massacre of civilians in Karabagh that Armenian and former Soviet troops allegedly committed ten years before. During the rally, which was announced days before by means of posters bearing the slogan: “Don’t believe Armenian lies” posted all throughout Istanbul, anti-Armenian slogans containing hate speech were chanted and professionally printed signs that read “You are all Armenians, you are all bastards” were carried, in reaction to the slogan “We are all Armenians,” which had been chanted at the funeral of Hrant Dink. In 2013, within one and a half month, four elderly Armenian women were attacked in Samatya, a neighborhood with a high agglomeration of Armenians, cruelly beaten, until one of them died from heavy beating with numerous deep fatal cuts on her body inflicted by a sharp object. In short, persistent denial of genocide is the main reason for the Armenians’ threatened existence in Turkey, a reason provided by the official narrative itself.

On the other hand, the ECHR decision establishes that the Armenian genocide is somehow disputable, arguing that the denial of events which are not qualified as a genocide cannot provoke racist hatred.

However this is not what Doğu Perinçek and the “Talaat Pasha Committee” (named after Talaat, the main author of the Armenian genocide), of which he is one of the leaders have been doing since the Committee’s inception. They deny all the sufferings and horrible massacres—genocide or not—and thus openly insult the victims and their descendants. They deny all the sufferings of the Armenian people under Turkish rule and declare that what had happened to them is an “imperialist lie.” They deny the extermination of the Armenian people and their civilization, playing a vital role in the Ottoman Empire not only demographically, but economically, culturally. In other words, it is not a question of naming what happened to Armenians, it is a question of denying their very existence, their historical heritage and the enormous contribution they made to the country they were an integral part of.

Talaat Pasha Committee already condemned by the European Parliament

Perhaps most important of all, is the European Parliament’s resolution dated 27 September 2006 on the EC Progress Report on Turkey, where Turkey was called to put an end to the racist and xenophobic Talaat Pasha Committee’s activities. The according paragraph reads: “[The European Parliament] strongly condemns the xenophobic and racist Talaat Pacha Committee, run by extreme right-wing organisations, for gravely infringing European principles, and the denialist demonstrations in Lyon and Berlin organised by those same organisations; calls on Turkey to abolish this committee and to end its activities.”

It is clear that the Talaat Pasha Committee where Doğu Perinçek was one of the founders and leaders was condemned with the above words by the European Parliament itself. We, as the human rights defenders of Turkey would expect the ECHR to take into consideration the European Parliament’s official views as referred to above.

Coming back to the ECHR decision, we would like to draw your attention to the opposing opinion of two ECHR judges. The main arguments in their dissenting opinion were (paraphrased by ourselves in English based on the original document in French) as follows:

• To accuse the victims of distorting history is an invitation to most violent racist defamation and hate. The sufferings of an Armenian due to the Ottoman Empire’s genocide policy is not less serious than those of a Jew under the Nazi’s genocidal policies. Denial of the Meds Yeghern (“Great enormity,” i.e. “infamous crime” in Armenian) is not less dangerous than the denial of Shoah.

• The defendant has openly denied the Armenian genocide as an “international lie,” accused the Armenian people of aggression towards the Turkish state and stated that he supported Talaat Pasha’s ideas. His statements provoke a grave intolerance and hatred against a defenseless minority. The Defendant declared that he would never recognize the Armenian genocide even if an expert or academic committee decides on the existence of such a genocide.

• Expressions such as “international lie,” “historic lie,” “imperialist lie” obviously go beyond the acceptable boundaries of freedom [of] expression, because these expressions declare the victims to be “liars” and suggest an international conspiracy against Turkey or Turks. Besides, D. Perinçek’s identification with a major genocide perpetrator, who in 1919 was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity by an Ottoman court makes the situation even more repugnant.

The dissenting judges refer in their statement to our Association’s press release of 24 April 2006 (the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide) as follows (again a paraphrase of the original document in French):

“Tolerance to denialism is to ‘kill the victims for the second time,’ as Elie Wiesel puts it, or ‘denialism is part of the genocide and enables the perpetuation of the genocide. Denial of genocide is in itself a violation of human rights,” as Human Rights Association, Turkey, had declared in their press release dated 24 April 2006 for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.”

Talaat Pasha Committee: an organisation of violent action

Genocide denial, as indicated above, directly contributes to the racist hatred environment in Turkey. Furthermore, the Talaat Pasha Committee is anything else than an organisation of peaceful “thought,” or a think tank. It operates on active, sometimes violent militant denialism. Members of the Labour Party led also by Doğu Perinçek have raided and sabotaged meetings related to the Armenian “question.” In 2005 for the first time in Turkey a conference had been organised with the title “Ottoman Armenians during the decline of the Ottoman Empire.” Although the term genocide didn’t appear neither in the conference title, nor in any of the papers presented there, the Labour Party militants, who would soon become part of the Talaat Pasha Committee demonstrated outside the conference building, shouting denialist slogans and hatred towards the organizers, throwing eggs and tomatoes against those who left the conference. The Committee organised demonstrations in 2007 in France, Germany and Switzerland to protest against “Armenian genocide lies,” insulting genocide victims’ memories, hurting the feelings of their children and grandchildren. Doğu Perinçek’s Labour Party members had in 2009 also staged a demonstration against our press conference in Ankara. The meeting was hosted by our association HRA and the Ankara Initiative for Freedom of Expression on Friday June 26, 2009. Our guests were Lord Avebury, the then vice-chairman of the Human Rights Group in the British Parliament, and historian Ara Sarafian from the Gomidas Institute, London, the publisher of the uncensored edition (2000; 2005) of the 1916 parliamentary “Blue Book,” titled The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16, a collection of first-hand testimonies of the Armenian genocide compiled by Viscount Bryce and Arnold Toynbee. In the press conference it was declared that the copies of the Turkish translation of the book were sent to the members of the Turkish Parliament (who in 2005 had signed a letter to the British Parliament arguing that the Blue Book was a wartime propaganda material and a mere fabrication, and for that reason the current British parliament should formally withdraw it) “in an effort to enable them to be better informed about their subject matter.” While the press conference was going on, the Labour Party members gathered in front of our Human Rights Association offices in Ankara, chanted slogans against “false Armenian genocide allegations,” harassing and alarming both the audience and our guests from abroad, Sarafian and Lord Avebury. In the meantime, the copies of the “Blue Book” sent were not delivered to the Turkish parliamentarians, thus it became clear that the Turkish Grand National Assembly refused to discuss the witness reports in the book.

ECHR decision encouraged racist denialism

What is very alarming and unacceptable is that the ECHR’s decision to acquit Doğu Perinçek has fueled hostility against Armenians in Turkey. The Talaat Pasha Committee held a meeting for the first time after many years, on 19 January 2014, on the 7th anniversary of Hrant Dink’s assassination. The headline of the press report read: “This is only a beginning. New victories are on the way!” It is reported that Doğu Perinçek, sentenced to 117 years’ imprisonment in Turkey, had reportedly sent a message to the meeting saying: “We will now get out of the circle [that limits our mobility] and encircle/besiege Turkey’s enemies and win victories on every front.” In the statement issued during this meeting the Committee misled the Turkish public by claiming that the ECHR decision had confirmed that the Armenian genocide was a lie, whereas in fact the Court only ruled that the Armenian genocide is open to debate and its denial was within the boundaries of freedom of speech.

Members of Doğu Perinçek’s Labour Party reappeared right after the ECHR decision and ambushed a meeting on 1 February 2014 organised by “Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism” initiative with the topic “Why should states apologize?” chanting denialist slogans such as “Armenian Genocide: an American Lie.”

We call on the the Swiss authorities to appeal against ECHR decision

The reason for us to take your time and give an account of the denialist history of Doğu Perinçek and the Talaat Pasha Committee, is to underline that denial of genocide cannot be considered as a simple disagreement of views. This land that is now Turkey, was a land where at the turn of the 19th century one of every 5 residents was a Christian, corresponding to the 20% of the overall population. Now the proportion is below 0.01%! Under these circumstances denialism, which is woven in the very texture of the society, provokes racism and hatred against Armenians, threatens those who challenge the official theses and constitutes one of the biggest obstacles to democratization which is a precondition of Turkey’s membership to EU. In this context we would also like to quote the European Parliament’s resolution of 1987 in which the acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide was named as a pre-condition for Turkey’s admission to the EU.

In view of the above we, as the Human Rights Association in Turkey, in the name of human rights, of the struggle against racist hatred and of justice in Turkey and elsewhere, we would like to express our belief that the Swiss Court’s decision to penalize Doğu Perinçek’s denialism was a step to protect us all, the entire humanity against racism and our heartfelt support to Swiss Court’s exercising its right to appeal against the ECHR decision dated 17 December 2013.

Sincerely yours,

Öztürk Türkdoğan

Chairman,

Human Rights Association

TURKEY



#23 Yervant1

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 10:05 AM

IIGHRS Statement re: ECHR Ruling

International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
A Division of the Zoryan Institute
PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: Deborah Hay
DATE: March 7, 2014
TEL: 416-250-9807

International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Publishes Statement Regarding European Court of Human Rights Ruling in
Swiss Papers

Bern, Switzerland--The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights
Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) produced a full-page
informational advertisement that appeared in Switzerland's leading German
and French language newspapers Neue Zürcher Zeitung on March 6 and Le
Temps on March 7. The advertisements were the product of collaboration
between the Switzerland Armenia Association and the IIGHRS. Links to these
articles in English, French, and German follow this article.
The purpose of these ads was to raise awareness with
the Swiss public that the December 17, 2013 ruling of the Perinçek vs.
Switzerland case by the European Court of Human Rights, promotes racism and
violence against Armenians in Turkey and elsewhere. The statement further
argued that the Swiss government has a moral responsibility to appeal this
ruling and defend its laws against racism.

Seeing that to date the Swiss Government had not filed an appeal against
the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, the IIGHRS felt that it
is crucial to educate the public about this critical legal and moral issue.
Switzerland was not a bystander to the Armenian Genocide in 1915, and it
should not be a bystander and allow its denial today. In this respect, the
Institute endeavored to raise awareness of the facts of the Armenian
Genocide through the speeches of the President of Switzerland in 1922 to
the League of Nations, and in the words of the current President about the
action needed against denial of the Holocaust or any other genocide.
President Burkhalter noted that it is the duty of the Swiss people to
remind people, 'of the facts and the historical reality', and stressed that
Switzerland does not want to just 'pay lip service, but to take concrete
action' to fight denial. Through the juxtaposing of these two historical
speeches, the Institute explained that while it does not disagree with the
right to freedom of speech, it takes issue with the ECHR's highly debatable
statements about the Armenian Genocide that went far beyond the Court's
mandate or competence.

Read the Texts Here: English
<http://genocidestudi...8a&e=e8d4b8a047>

French
<http://genocidestudi...6e&e=e8d4b8a047>

German
<http://genocidestudi...c6&e=e8d4b8a047>

Copyright © 2014 The Zoryan Institute of Canada, Inc, All rights
reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Zoryan Institute of Canada, Inc
255 Duncan Mill Rd
Suite 310
Toronto, ON M3B 3H9
Canada



#24 Yervant1

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:47 AM

ANC AUSTRALIA URGE THE SWISS AUTHORITIES TO APPEAL ECHR RULING ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE DENIAL

http://www.armradio....enocide-denial/
11:14 10.03.2014

Armenian Genocide, ECHR

The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) met with
the Swiss Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Marcel Stutz, to
present the Armenian-Australian community's concerns over the recent
judgment handed down by the European Court for Human Rights in the
Perincek v. Switzerland case. ANC Australia called on Switzerland to
appeal the outcome.

In 2007, Turkish politician Dogu Perincek was convicted by the Federal
Court of Switzerland for publicly denying the Armenian Genocide, which
included his public statement that "the genocide is an international
lie".

The ECHR subsequently ruled that it was not a crime for Perincek to
publicly deny the Armenian Genocide, contrary to Swiss laws prohibiting
denial and other European directives urging states to take a stronger
stance in fighting denial of genocide and crimes against humanity.

ANC Australia voiced the serious concerns of Armenian-Australians, and
Armenians worldwide, regarding the ECHR's December 17, 2013 decision,
which rejected the Swiss court's 2007 decision to penalise, under
Swiss Penal Law, Perincek's vehement denial of the Armenian Genocide.

ANC Australia presented to the Swiss Ambassador a list of factual
inaccuracies that were evident in the ECHR's judgment and called upon
the Swiss Government to appeal the judgment.

ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian commented at the
conclusion of the meeting: "We welcome the opportunity to have met
with the Swiss Ambassador to Australia and to have discussed this
important issue."

"Switzerland has been an international leader in both genocide
recognition and the criminalisation of genocide denial and therefore
we strongly urge the Swiss authorities to appeal the judgment of the
European Court of Human Rights," Kahramanian added.
 



#25 Yervant1

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:59 AM

    IIGHRS_logo1e2598.jpg International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
A Division of the Zoryan Institute  
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              CONTACT: Deborah Hay
DATE: March 11, 2014                                                   TEL: 416-250-9807 
Switzerland appeals ECHR ruling 
 
Bern, Switzerland—The International Association of Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) (IIGHRS) and the Switzerland-Armenia Association (SAA) are pleased to announce that the Swiss Government announced today it will appeal the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on December 17, 2013, overturning the conviction of Dogu Perinçek for denying the Armenian Genocide.
 
The decision was made by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice to ask the ECHR’s Grand Chamber to review the ruling in order to clarify the scope available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal Code to combat racism. The anti-racism law was created in 1995 in order to comply with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. See the press release of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice:
https://www.bj.admin...2014-03-11.html
 
In 2007, Mr. Dogu Perinçek was convicted under the Swiss anti-racism law for publicly denying the Armenian Genocide. He failed to win two appeals in Swiss courts, then appealed to the ECHR. On December 17, 2013, the ECHR overturned this conviction on the grounds of freedom of speech.
 
The IIGHRS and the SAA have worked together since December, along with a team of scholars and experts in international human rights law, major Armenian organizations and individuals, as a strategic team to inform and educate Swiss public opinion.
 
Le Temps (Geneva), in covering this story, wrote, “Armenian associations in Switzerland are highly mobilized in collaboration with The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, which took a full-page advertisement in newspapers, including "Le Temps." A petition that has more than 10,000 signatures was also sent to the Minister of Justice and Police, Simonetta Sommaruga, for Switzerland to appeal.”

http://www.letemps.c...-93ff9fa69117|0
Copyright © 2014 The Zoryan Institute, All rights reserved.
Your email was referred to us.

Our mailing address is:
The Zoryan Institute
255 Duncan Mill Rd, Suite 310
Toronto, ON M3B 3H9
Canada


#26 Yervant1

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:54 AM

SWORN ANTI-ARMENIAN TURKISH POLITICIAN IS RELEASED FROM PRISON

March 11, 2014 | 13:41
Dogu Perincek was released by a Turkish court decision. Against the
backdrop of the conflict between PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Islamic
opinion leader Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish authorities have begun
releasing those who were sentenced to prison in connection with the
Ergenekon case on the attempt to overthrow the current government of
the country.

Among those released is Dogu Perincek, who is a sworn anti-Armenian
politician, Chairman of the socialist Workers' Party of Turkey, and
head of the Talat Pasha organization which actively fights against
the Armenian Genocide's recognition in Europe.

After being released, Perincek issued a statement before reporters,
and stressed that the time has come to fight against and uproot the
religious communities in Turkey.

On December 17, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
ruled in favor of Armenian Genocide-denying Turkish politician
Dogu Perincek's lawsuit that was filed against Switzerland. The
said judgment by the ECtHR was made on the grounds of freedom of
speech. In 2008, a Swiss court had convicted Perincek for denying
the Armenian Genocide.

News from Armenia - NEWS.am



#27 Yervant1

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:56 AM

ARMENIA WELCOMES SWITZERLAND'S DECISION TO APPEAL ECHR RULING ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE DENIAL

10:54 12.03.2014

Armenian Genocide, ECHR, Switzerland

"We welcome the decision of Switzerland to request the referral of
Dogu Perincek to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human
Rights' revision," Spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Tigran Balayan said in comments to Arminfo agency.

"Consistency in the fight against the denial of the crime of genocide
at has an important role in the prevention of new crimes against
humanity," he added.

The government of Switzerland announced Tuesday that it will appeal
a December 17, 2013 decision by the European Court of Human Rights
overturning the conviction of Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian
Genocide.

The decision was made by Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice, which
is asking the ECHR Grand Chamber to review the ruling to clarify the
scope available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal
Code to combat racism. Switzerland created this penal provision,
which entered into force in 1995, to close loopholes in its criminal
law and enable the country to accede to the UN Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

http://www.armradio....enocide-denial/
 



#28 Yervant1

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:14 AM

xswissinfo_logo_2014.png.pagespeed.ic.W1

RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH Turkish anger as Swiss appeal Perinçek decision

swissinfo.ch and agencies 

 


March 14, 2014 - 21:46

Switzerland’s decision to head back to the courts over the case of the Turkish nationalist Doğu Perinçek, has attracted public criticism from Turkey. Switzerland fined Perinçek in 2007, after he denied the 1915 Armenian genocide in a speech in Lausanne.

The case eventually ended up at the European Court of Human Rights in 2013; where it was ruled that Switzerland had violated the ex-head of the left-wing Turkish Workers' Party’s right to free speech.
 
The Swiss Justice ministry said on Tuesday it was appealing the decision and will refer it to the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights.
 
In response, the Turkish Foreign ministry said in a statement that they expect the appeal to fail and the judgment in favour of freedom of expression to be upheld. They added, that they “believe that the efforts to politicise the law will be aborted once again”.

Opposing views

In his 2005 speech, Perinçek called the genocide an “international lie”. The Armenians however, say Ottoman Turks slaughtered up to 1.8 million Armenians in a planned genocide between 1915 and 1918. Turkey denies the mass killings were genocide, saying the death toll is inflated.
 
Switzerland has anti-racism laws in place that legislate against any denying, belittling or justifying of genocide. In 2007 it was decided at the Federal Court that the facts of the 1915 Armenian Genocide were widely accepted as common knowledge and that denial of these facts was driven by racist motives.
 
The overturning of this verdict by the Court of Human Rights brought a difference in opinion over anti-racism laws into the spotlight, with some arguing the implementation had gone too far, while others argued a decision by a foreign judge had upset laws voted on by the Swiss people.

381x254xpenicek-38167346.jpg.pagespeed.i

Turkish nationalist Doğu Perinçek was fined by a Swiss court for denying genocide and violating anti-racism laws (Keystone)



#29 Yervant1

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 08:43 AM

"PERINCEK V. SWITZERLAND" CASE, GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL AND POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS FOR ARMENIA

Friday 28 March 2014 09:32
Photo: REUTERS

Dogu Perincek, leader of the Workers

"Perincek v. Switzerland" case which has been in court for about 8
years has recently taken a new turn. Swiss authorities resolved to
appeal to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) decision made on
December 17, 2013, which stated that the Armenian Genocide's denial
by the leader of Workers' Party of Turkey Dogu Perincek is not a crime.

The trial is gaining a new character due to the Armenian Genocide's
Centennial in 2015 and Armenian experts think it a challenge for
Armenia.

According to Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Oriental Studies
of Armenian National Academy of Sciences Vahram Ter-Matevosyan, the
ECHR's decision was unexpected for the Armenian side while Turkey
was directly involved in the court trial.

"At first, Armenia's position was that the ECHR's December 17 verdict
in legal and procedural terms didn't directly concern Armenia and
consequently, official Yerevan couldn't be involved in the process.

Taking into consideration the Switzerland's decision to appeal the
verdict and the work done by Armenia, Diaspora bodies and particular
persons to this end, we can say now that the previous stance - not
to take part in the process - turned out to be unproductive. Before
the verdict, it seemed the ECHR couldn't make a decision in favor
of Perincek as our stance was fair. And we again realized that only
through coordinated actions of Armenia, Diaspora and particular
persons can we reach a result", he said to Mediamax.

At the same time, the expert noted that we should keep being alert
as first of all, the appeal may be turned down and secondly, it
goes without saying that Turkey won't twiddle its thumbs. Besides,
it's quite possible the process of appealing may last rather long
and it's important not to lose control over the process.

"Ahead of the Genocide Centennial, the process linked to ECHR's
verdict will be considered a challenge. Will we be able to really
push the process to the right direction or will we have to just make
regrets and blames? We should define our agenda by discarding our
habit of responding or acting only at the very last moment", noted
Vahram Ter-Matevosyan.

Several days after the decision was announced, Armenia hailed
Switzerland's initiative on the high level calling it "encouraging".

President Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the European Court
for Human Rights will make the decision which won't offend the memory
of millions of people who fell victim to genocides.

Doctor of Law of Paris X-Nanterre University and Geneva University
Sevane Gharibyan noted in her interview toMediamax that ECHR Grand
Chamber must first make a decision on the acceptance or rejection of
the Swiss request for referral.

"This is the crucial next step as such referral requests are seldom
accepted when the cases are considered serious. For instance, since
2011 Switzerland had request a referral in 4 cases aside from the
Perincek case and only one was accepted", noted the expert.

"From a legal point of view, the confirmation of the court decision
made on December 17, 2013 will create a serious problem: it would
validate unequal treatment of victims of genocide or crimes against
humanity in the light of distinction set by the ECHR between denial
of Armenian Genocide and Holocaust of Jews. Meanwhile, Article 261
of the Swiss Criminal Law is intended precisely to avoid this kind
of unequal treatment and any form of hierarchy between genocides and
crimes against humanity or their denials", noted Sevane Gharibyan
talking toMediamax.

She also stressed that many NGOs , as well as international well-known
genocide scholars, and also worldwide Armenian Diaspora communities,
came forward to support the request to refer the Perincek case to the
Grand Chamber, because this support coming from around the world was
very important and has highlighted the need of a re-examination of
the case.

"If the referral request of the case is accepted, it will allow "third
parties" to intervene in the proceedings. The Turkish government which
has until now supported Dogu Perincek in this case, will undoubtedly
try to interfere. It seems to me at this stage extremely important,
not to say decisive, that "third parties" also intervene in support
of Switzerland. They may be Switzerland-Armenia Association and NGOs
struggling against racism, and / or the Government of Armenia. That
will also be a good moment for Armenia to do so and to be heard. Such
a request for intervention would be a strong symbolic and political
move, which I believe to be essential", stressed Sevane Gharibyan.

As one of the most outstanding Turkish nationalists, Dogu Perincek
was arrested on "Ergenekon" case in 2008 and was sentenced to life
imprisonment without the possibility of parole. However, he was
released upon the court's decision on March 10, 2014.

Secretary General of European Friends of Armenia NGO Eduardo Lorenzo
Ochoa noted that "the unfair verdict will have negative outcomes for
all those who stand for human rights and human dignity".

"On the one hand, the ECHR was guided with the freedom of expression
of Mr. Perincek in Switzerland. On the other hand, the Armenian
Genocide is unanimously recognized by the international community
of historians as a regrettable historical fact. The unfair verdict
would mostly undermine the public trust toward ECHR as a structure
which made a decision contradicting not only the historical fact but
the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court according to which
"crime of genocide" is recognized one of the 4 most serious crimes of
concern of the whole international community", said EuFoA Secretary
General in his interview to Mediamax.

Though the ECHR December 17 verdict contains a reference to the
recognition of Spanish and French Constitutional Courts ( in 2007
and 2012 respectively) of draft laws on criminalization of Armenian
Genocide's denials not relevant to their Constitutions , there are
rumors in the media on recurrent introduction of the similar bill
into the agenda of the French Senate. Experts believe it may take
place before the visit of the French President Francois Holland to
Armenia scheduled for May 2014.

Dossier

In March 2007, Turkish nationalist Dogu Perincek became the first man
to be convicted of Genocide's denial in Switzerland. During various
conferences in the country in 2005, he called Armenian Genocide
"international lie" and Switzerland -Armenia Association sued him in
court under the article on racist discrimination.

Over the court sessions, the Turkish nationalist stuck to his stance
stating that "he didn't deny the Genocide as there was no Genocide".

As a result, on March 9, 2007, Swiss District Court recognized his
violation of law and sentenced to a penalty of 12 000 Swiss franks. In
the same year, Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland confirmed the
decision and Perincek stated that he would appeal it to ECHR. As a
result of trials which lasted for several years, the Court decided
that "Criminal conviction for denial that the atrocities perpetrated
against the Armenian people in 1915 and years after constituted
genocide was unjustified".

Under the ECHR decision "the free exercise of the right to openly
discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature was one of
the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression and distinguished
a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a totalitarian or
dictatorial regime".

ECHR also clearly distinguished between denial of Armenian Genocide
and Jewish Genocide noting that there are very concrete historical
facts concerning the latter such as existence of gas cameras.

Turkish Foreign Ministry hailed ECHR's decision calling it milestone
for "the protection of the freedom of expression which is the
fundamental element of societies committed to freedom, democracy and
the rule of law".

"It is clear that the judgment of the ECtHR is an important warning
against attempts both to politicize history and law and against
initiatives aimed at having a one-sided view of history registered
through the use of law", the Turkish Foreign Ministry's statement
read this.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry didn't officially respond to ECHR's
verdict. However, experts expressed apprehensions that it may become
a precedent for making similar decisions in future as well.

After the court's verdict which called the Swiss law violation of the
freedom of expression, Switzerland had 3 months to appeal it and Bern
enforced the right.

Aram Araratyan

http://www.mediamax....ignpolicy/9674/
 



#30 Yervant1

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:14 AM

Text of Swiss Appeal to European Court
On Armenian Genocide Disclosed
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

Two weeks ago -- on the last day of the three-month deadline -- the Swiss
government decided to file an appeal with the European Court of Human
Rights (ECHR) on the Perincek vs. Switzerland lawsuit.
Even though the text of the Swiss appeal has been kept under seal pending
ECHR's consideration, I was able to obtain a copy in French. This is the
first time that the content of the Swiss appeal appears in the media.
The ECHR ruled on Dec. 17, 2013, that Swiss courts had violated the rights
of Dogu Perincek, a minor Turkish party leader, who had traveled to
Switzerland in 2005 with the explicit purpose of denying the Armenian
Genocide. He had dared the Swiss authorities to arrest him for calling the
Genocide "an international lie."
Following his conviction for violating a Swiss law on racial
discrimination, denial of genocide, and other crimes against humanity,
Perincek appealed his sentence all the way to the Federal Tribunal, the
highest court in Switzerland, which confirmed his guilt. He then applied to
the European Court of Human Rights, accusing Switzerland of violating many
of his rights, including that of free speech. Surprisingly, five of the
seven ECHR judges exonerated Perincek, finding that Switzerland violated
certain provisions of the European Convention.
If left unchallenged, ECHR's ruling would have been a major setback for
recognition of the Armenian Genocide, particularly before the worldwide
commemoration of the Centennial of the Genocide to be held on April 24,
2015. Even more importantly, by exceeding their mandate on the alleged
infringements of Perincek's rights, the majority of the ECHR judges raised
questions about the validity of the Armenian Genocide. They also drew
unwarranted and superfluous distinctions between the Armenian Genocide and
the Jewish Holocaust, ruling that punishing the deniers of the former is
illegal, while convicting those denying the latter is proper.
Given the detrimental consequences of this unjustified ruling on the
Armenian Cause, the government of Armenia, Armenian communities worldwide,
and Swiss-Armenians in particular, lobbied Switzerland to make sure that it
appeals ECHR's decision in the Perincek case. In reality, the Swiss
authorities should not have needed any prodding from Armenians, since they
had an obligation to defend the judgments of their own courts, including
the Federal Tribunal, and the integrity of their country's legal system!
The six-page Swiss appeal, filed on March 17, 2014, asserted that ECHR's
ruling raised "serious questions regarding the interpretation and
application" of the European Convention on Human Rights for the following
three reasons:
-- The ruling involves an issue -- the Armenian Genocide -- that has never
been considered by ECHR. This case raises two fundamental juridical
questions that the Court has not dealt with: The juridical qualification of
the Genocide and the scope of freedom of expression, when a state party to
the Convention, in the framework of fighting racism, criminalizes the
denial of genocide.
-- The ruling reduces in an undue manner "the margin of appreciation"
available to Switzerland under the jurisprudence of ECHR. Perincek had
repeatedly stated that he would never change his mind on the Armenian
Genocide. His denialist position is "particularly offensive." The Court's
contention that such a person would bring any value to "the debate and
historical research" on this issue "is a departure from ECHR's established
and balanced jurisprudence."
-- The ruling creates "artificial distinctions." Perincek does not simply
contest the use of the term genocide, but qualifies the Armenian mass
killings as an "international lie." Furthermore, even though there has not
been an international verdict in the case of the Armenian Genocide, the
Turkish Court's 1919 verdict against the masterminds of the Armenian
Genocide "constituted an element of reliable evidence, acknowledging the
facts or unfavorable conduct" relative to the World Court's jurisprudence.
Furthermore, even "the Nuremberg Tribunal did not mention the term genocide
and did not convict the Nazi perpetrators for committing genocide, but
crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity."
The Swiss appeal has provided compelling arguments and convincing evidence
that five of the seven ECHR judges made serious judgmental and factual
errors in delivering a ruling in favor of Perincek and against Switzerland.
A panel of five new ECHR judges will now decide whether to refer
Switzerland's appeal to the 17-judge Grand Chamber for a final
determination.



#31 Yervant1

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:09 AM

EUROPEAN RIGHTS COURT AGREES TO HEAR SWISS APPEAL ON PERINCEK RULING

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Eurpean Court of Human Rights

STRASBOURG--The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday agreed to
hear an appeal filed by the government of Switzerland of the court's
ruling in December that the denial of the Armenian Genocide was not
a crime, reported the Le Matin newspaper.

The government of Switzerland announced its decision to appeal the
December 17, 2013 decision by the European Court of Human Rights
overturning the conviction of Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian
Genocide, which under Swiss law is a criminal offense.

Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice announced its appeal on March
11. The appeal is asking the ECHR Grand Chamber to clarify the scope
available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal Code to
combat racism. Switzerland created this penal provision, which entered
into force in 1995, to close loopholes in its criminal law and enable
the country to accede to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Under the provisions of the Swiss law, in 2007, Turkish citizen
Perincek was convicted for denying the Armenian Genocide. Failing to
win two appeals against the judgment, Perincek appealed the ECHR,
which on Dec. 17 ruled that the Swiss courts' rulings violated the
appellant's right to freedom of expression.

The ECHR ruling in December stated that "the free exercise of the
right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial
nature is one of the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression
and distinguishes a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from
a totalitarian or dictatorial regime."

The original case emerged from Perincek's participation in a number
of conferences in Switzerland in 2005, during which he publicly denied
that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against
the Armenian people in 1915.

The Lausanne Police Court found Perincek guilty of racial
discrimination on March 9, 2007, based on the Swiss Criminal Code.

After a complaint filed by the Switzerland-Armenia Association on
July 15, 2005, the court found that Perincek's motives were of a
"racist tendency" and did not contribute to the historical debate.

"The Court underlined that the free exercise of the right to openly
discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature was one of
the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression and distinguished
a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a totalitarian or
dictatorial regime," said the official ECHR press release at the time.

"The Court also pointed out that it was not called upon to rule on the
legal characterization of the Armenian genocide. The existence of a
'genocide,' which was a precisely defined legal concept, was not easy
to prove. The Court doubted that there could be a general consensus
as to events such as those at issue, given that historical research
was by definition open to discussion and a matter of debate, without
necessarily giving rise to final conclusions or to the assertion of
objective and absolute truths," added the ECHR release.

"Lastly, the Court observed that those States which had officially
recognized the Armenian genocide had not found it necessary to enact
laws imposing criminal sanctions on individuals questioning the
official view, being mindful that one of the main goals of freedom of
expression was to protect minority views capable of contributing to a
debate on questions of general interest which were not fully settled,"
explained the ECHR in its December ruling.

http://asbarez.com/1...erincek-ruling/
 



#32 Yervant1

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

GOVERNMENT OF ARMENIA INTENDS TO ENGAGE IN DOgU PERINcEK'S CASE AS THIRD PARTY

16:47, 15 July, 2014

HRAZDAN, JULY 15, ARMENPRESS. The Government of the Republic of Armenia
intends to engage in the case of the Turkish nationalist Dogu Perincek
in the European Court of Human Rights as a third party.

During his interview with "Armenpress", the Prosecutor General of
the Republic of Armenia, Representative of Armenia to the ECHR Gevorg
Kostanyan said that the decision has already been made and by August
26 Armenia will officially apply to the European Court of Human Rights,
to be engaged as a third party.

Kostanyan did not go into details about the actions that should be
carried out by the Armenian side, but stressed that they were seriously
determined, and that a group of advocates would most likely be formed
to achieve success.

http://armenpress.am...hird-party.html
 



#33 Yervant1

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 07:54 AM

Sassounian: Amal Clooney to Represent Armenia in European Court
Amal-Klouni.png
Sassounian: Amal Clooney to Represent Armenia in European Court

*HARUT SASSOUNIAN*

Harut-Sassounian-150x150.jpg

Here is a surprising news item being disclosed for the first time in this column—Amal Ramzi Alamuddin, wife of prominent actor and human rights activist George Clooney, will be one of the attorneys representing Armenia next month at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Mrs. Clooney is a highly regarded attorney specializing in international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition. She has been involved in several major lawsuits such as return of the Elgin Marbles from Great Britain to Greece, and defending Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She has also worked with the Prosecutor of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

Amal was born in Lebanon to a Druze father and Sunni Muslim mother in 1978. At the age of two, her family moved to the United Kingdom. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law and clerked at the International Court of Justice (World Court). After returning to London in 2010, she became a barrister at the Doughty Street Chambers. She served as advisor to Kofi Annan, UN Special Envoy on Syria, and as Counsel to the 2013 UN Drone Inquiry team. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic. Her marriage to George Clooney in September 2014 made worldwide headlines.

With such impeccable credentials, Mrs. Clooney will be a great asset to Armenia’s legal team in Strasbourg, in the appeal of Perincek vs. Switzerland before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on January 28.

The case involves the conviction by Swiss courts of Dogu Perincek, a minor Turkish political party leader, who had travelled to Switzerland in 2005 with the explicit intent of denying the truth of the Armenian Genocide. In 2008, Perincek appealed the Swiss ruling to the European Court of Human Rights. A majority of five out of seven ECHR judges ruled on Dec. 17, 2013 that Switzerland had violated Perincek’s right to free expression.

This ruling was an unfair and unacceptable double standard, as the court considered denial of the Jewish Holocaust a crime, but Armenian Genocide denial an infringement on free speech. The five judges who ruled against Switzerland made countless judgmental and factual errors, misrepresenting Perincek’s allegations, misinterpreting Switzerland’s laws and court rulings, lacking basic knowledge of the Armenian Genocide, and repeatedly contradicting themselves. Two of the seven judges disagreed with the majority’s ruling and submitted a comprehensive 19-page report on the Armenian Genocide, siding with the Swiss court.

On March 17, 2014, Switzerland decided to appeal the ruling to ECHR’s 17-judge Grand Chamber, to defend the integrity of its laws and the country’s legal system. Specifically, the Swiss government challenged the court’s decision on three grounds:

1) ECHR had never before dealt with the juridical qualification of genocide and the scope of freedom of expression;

2) The undue restriction of “the margin of appreciation” available to Switzerland under ECHR’s jurisprudence;

3) The establishment of ‘artificial distinctions’ — in the absence of an international verdict, ECHR should have considered the Turkish Court’s 1919 guilty verdicts against the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide as evidence related to World Court’s jurisprudence.

Last year, when ECHR’s lower court was considering Perincek’s case, Armenia did not participate. Turkey, however, intervened by submitting extensive documentation questioning the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. This time around Armenia will take part with a strong legal team, which includes Geoffrey Robertson QC, a preeminent international lawyer and author of the remarkable book, “An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?” Robertson will be joined in court by his associate Amal Clooney, and two Armenian government representatives Gevorg Kostanyan and Emil Babayan.

It is imperative that on the eve of the Armenian Genocide’s Centennial in 2015, ECHR’s Grand Chamber reverse the lower court’s flawed ruling, restoring the integrity of Swiss laws and preventing Turkey and Perincek from exporting their genocide denialism to Europe and beyond!



#34 Yervant1

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 11:06 AM

AL-MONITOR: PLANNED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MEMORIAL RUFFLES ANKARA

11:28, 25 Dec 2014

A proposed art project commemorating the 1915 mass slaughter by
the Ottoman Turks of the empire's Armenian subjects has sparked a
tug-of-war between the Turkish government and Switzerland's ethnic
Armenian community, sharpening decades of mutual suspicion and
resentment and pitting the federal government in Bern against the
local government in Geneva, where the monument is to be placed,
Al-Monitor writes.

With only months to go before the April 24 centenary of the genocide,
the stakes are higher than ever -- and so far, Turkey is prevailing. In
early December, the Swiss Foreign Ministry declared that it opposes
erecting the Armenian monument in the canton of Geneva because
"it is important for federal authorities to preserve the absolute
impartiality of Geneva," where the United Nations and various other
international organizations are headquartered, Turkey's semi-official
Anadolu news agency crowed.

More likely, the Swiss are responding to Turkish bullying, Armenian
activists and diplomatic observers say. The UN has reportedly also
sided with Turkey. A UN spokeswoman in Geneva declined to comment.

"It is an international scandal that Swiss diplomacy surrendered
so voluntarily to Turkish pressure," complained Vicken Cheterian, a
Geneva-based ethnic Armenian academic in an interview with Al-Monitor.

"A beautiful artwork is now in exile in search of a safe haven where
it can rest, to reflect the memory of a people sacrificed and humanity
in denial."

The project, called "Reverberes de la Memoire," or "Streetlights of
Memory," consists of eight lampposts placed in an arc in parkland
lying between the International Red Cross building and the Palais des
Nations, where the United Nations' precursor, the League of Nations,
once stood. The lamp posts will soar to nine meters (29.5 ft.) and
sprout elongated chrome tear drops in which pedestrians can view their
own reflections. The pillars will be inscribed with texts about exile
and dispossession by acclaimed French Armenian psychoanalyst Janine
Altounian, whose parents survived the genocide.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman did not return calls for comment.

But Turkish officials speaking on condition of strict anonymity
privately acknowledged to Al-Monitor that the Swiss government had been
"encouraged" to scupper the bronze memorial, which was conceived in
2008 by the French Armenian artist Melik Ohanian. In keeping with
Switzerland's federal laws, the final say rests with the cantonal
government in Geneva, expected to deliver its verdict in mid-January.

Stefan Kristensen, a Swiss Armenian activist, says should the local
administration follow the Foreign Ministry's advice, the project
organizers will pursue the matter in court. "There is no legal
basis for caving to pressure from Bern and Ankara," Kristensen told
Al-Monitor.

Sympathy for the Armenians among the Swiss people is nothing new. In
the late 19th century, when the ruling Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid
II ordered pogroms against the Armenians, more than 400,000 Swiss
citizens (13.7% of the population) signed a petition demanding that
their federal government intervene with the Sublime Porte to end
its brutality.

Swiss pharmacist Jacob Kunzler and his wife, Elizabeth, figure
prominently in the Armenian pantheon of heroes. Between 1899 and 1922,
the couple saved thousands of Armenian orphans in Turkey and Lebanon.

Moreover, Switzerland has laws that criminalize denying or justifying
genocide. In 2007, a federal court found Turkish writer and leftwing
politician Dogu Perincek guilty of racial discrimination for calling
the genocide "an international lie" on Swiss soil. The case wound up in
the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2013. The Strasbourg-based
court concluded that Switzerland had violated Perincek's right to free
speech. In March, Switzerland appealed to the ECHR's 17-judge Grand
Chamber to overturn the ruling. Armenia waded in on Switzerland's
side with its own team of lawyers. The latter is said to include
Amal Alamuddin, the much-respected Lebanese-born international human
rights lawyer married to actor George Clooney. In a further twist,
Alamuddin's great uncle, Najib, is said to have been married to
Kunzler's daughter, Ida.

Perincek was merely parroting Turkey's official line. Turkey denies
that the 1915 tragedy constitutes genocide. Imposing its own version
of events -- that most of the Armenians died of exposure, starvation
and disease during forced deportations to the Syrian desert -- has
long been a cornerstone of Turkish foreign policy. Sabotaging planned
genocide memorials is an integral part of this. Thus, when the ethnic
Armenian residents of the California town of Montebello decided
to build a monument to honor the victims of 1915 in the mid-1960s,
Myron Goldsmith, a retired army major who doubled as Turkey's honorary
consul general, lobbied the city council to prevent its construction.

The episode was colorfully depicted in journalist Michael
Bobelian's 2009 book "Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide
and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice." We learn, for instance,
that Goldman accused the Armenians of "concocting a Communist plot"
and that the State Department "contacted Montebello's city council
to pressure it to shut down the project." In the end, the council
voted in favor of the monument but "bowed to the State Department's
wishes," spurning Armenian demands for the genocide to be mentioned
in its dedicatory plaque. A former Turkish intelligence officer who
requested anonymity claimed in remarks to Al-Monitor that the Turkish
government had "wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars" in covert
operations to deface Armenian genocide memorials. California is home
to the largest Armenian diaspora community in the United States,
and three Turkish diplomats were murdered there in revenge killings
carried out by ethnic Armenians between 1973 and 1982.

In 2011, the battle against monuments shifted to Kars, a city close to
Turkey's sealed border with Armenia, where a former mayor commissioned
a sculpture that was meant to symbolize reconciliation. Turkey's
President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the work a
"freak" and an "abomination" that needed to be demolished and replaced
with "a beautiful park." Demolition of the two giant figures facing
each other, hands extended in a gesture of peace, duly began in April
of that year, with their decapitation.

"It cost more money to destroy the monument than to build," observed
former mayor Naif Alibeyoglu.

Such actions run counter to the recent softening in Turkey's official
stance -- last year, Erdogan went as far as to offer an apology of
sorts when he acknowledged the suffering endured by the Armenians in
a statement made that April 24.

Using the word "genocide" is no longer a criminal offense in Turkey.

Yet, Turkey's sustained efforts to suppress commemorative monuments
are "a pernicious kind of aggression against our right to remember,
to celebrate the fact that we are still alive," said Heghnar Zeitlian
Watenpaugh, an art historian at the University of California, in an
email interview with Al-Monitor. Should Ankara succeed in permanently
switching off Geneva's "Streetlights of Memory," the wounds of the
past will be even harder to heal.

http://www.armradio....ruffles-ankara/
 



#35 Yervant1

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:14 AM

The low life opens his filthy mouth again!

GENOCIDE DENIER PERINCEK HAS MADE A STATEMENT HURTING CHRISTIANS' FEELINGS

17:38, 25 December, 2014

YEREVAN, 25 DECEMBER, ARMENPRESS. Chairman of Turkey's Labor Party
Dogu Perincek, who was sentenced by the Swiss court for denying the
Armenian Genocide, has made another obscene statement, hurting the
feelings of the entire Christian community. As "ArmenPress" reports,
citing the Turkish Haberler.com, Perincek referred to the news
about the fact that famous Hollywood actor George Clooney's wife,
Amal Clooney will be one of the advocates to be defending Armenia's
interests during the court hearings to be held at the European Court
of Human Rights in January 2015.

"The woman can attend the court hearing, but even if Jesus' wife comes,
they don't stand a chance of succeeding," Perincek declared, obscenely,
mentioning that "they will get to the bottom of Turkey's major issue,
that is, the lie about the Armenian Genocide".

http://armenpress.am...

 

 



#36 Yervant1

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:34 AM

PLANNED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MEMORIAL RUFFLES ANKARA

Al-Monitor
Dec 24 2014

Author: Amberin Zaman Posted December 24, 2014

A proposed art project commemorating the 1915 mass slaughter by
the Ottoman Turks of the empire's Armenian subjects has sparked a
tug-of-war between the Turkish government and Switzerland's ethnic
Armenian community, sharpening decades of mutual suspicion and
resentment and pitting the federal government in Bern against the
local government in Geneva, where the monument is to be placed.

With only months to go before the April 24 centenary of the genocide,
the stakes are higher than ever -- and so far, Turkey is prevailing. In
early December, the Swiss Foreign Ministry declared that it opposes
erecting the Armenian monument in the canton of Geneva because
"it is important for federal authorities to preserve the absolute
impartiality of Geneva," where the United Nations and various other
international organizations are headquartered, Turkey's semi-official
Anadolu news agency crowed.

More likely, the Swiss are responding to Turkish bullying, Armenian
activists and diplomatic observers say. The UN has reportedly also
sided with Turkey. A UN spokeswoman in Geneva declined to comment.

"It is an international scandal that Swiss diplomacy surrendered
so voluntarily to Turkish pressure," complained Vicken Cheterian, a
Geneva-based ethnic Armenian academic in an interview with Al-Monitor.

"A beautiful artwork is now in exile in search of a safe haven where
it can rest, to reflect the memory of a people sacrificed and humanity
in denial."

The project, called "Reverberes de la Memoire," or "Streetlights of
Memory," consists of eight lampposts placed in an arc in parkland
lying between the International Red Cross building and the Palais des
Nations, where the United Nations' precursor, the League of Nations,
once stood. The lamp posts will soar to nine meters (29.5 ft.) and
sprout elongated chrome tear drops in which pedestrians can view their
own reflections. The pillars will be inscribed with texts about exile
and dispossession by acclaimed French Armenian psychoanalyst Janine
Altounian, whose parents survived the genocide.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman did not return calls for comment.

But Turkish officials speaking on condition of strict anonymity
privately acknowledged to Al-Monitor that the Swiss government had been
"encouraged" to scupper the bronze memorial, which was conceived in
2008 by the French Armenian artist Melik Ohanian. In keeping with
Switzerland's federal laws, the final say rests with the cantonal
government in Geneva, expected to deliver its verdict in mid-January.

Stefan Kristensen, a Swiss Armenian activist, says should the local
administration follow the Foreign Ministry's advice, the project
organizers will pursue the matter in court. "There is no legal
basis for caving to pressure from Bern and Ankara," Kristensen told
Al-Monitor.

Sympathy for the Armenians among the Swiss people is nothing new. In
the late 19th century, when the ruling Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid
II ordered pogroms against the Armenians, more than 400,000 Swiss
citizens (13.7% of the population) signed a petition demanding that
their federal government intervene with the Sublime Porte to end
its brutality.

Swiss pharmacist Jacob Kunzler and his wife, Elizabeth, figure
prominently in the Armenian pantheon of heroes. Between 1899 and 1922,
the couple saved thousands of Armenian orphans in Turkey and Lebanon.

Moreover, Switzerland has laws that criminalize denying or justifying
genocide. In 2007, a federal court found Turkish writer and leftwing
politician Dogu Perincek guilty of racial discrimination for calling
the genocide "an international lie" on Swiss soil. The case wound up in
the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2013. The Strasbourg-based
court concluded that Switzerland had violated Perincek's right to free
speech. In March, Switzerland appealed to the ECHR's 17-judge Grand
Chamber to overturn the ruling. Armenia waded in on Switzerland's
side with its own team of lawyers. The latter is said to include
Amal Alamuddin, the much-respected Lebanese-born international human
rights lawyer married to actor George Clooney. In a further twist,
Alamuddin's great uncle, Najib, is said to have been married to
Kunzler's daughter, Ida.

Perincek was merely parroting Turkey's official line. Turkey denies
that the 1915 tragedy constitutes genocide. Imposing its own version
of events -- that most of the Armenians died of exposure, starvation
and disease during forced deportations to the Syrian desert -- has
long been a cornerstone of Turkish foreign policy. Sabotaging planned
genocide memorials is an integral part of this. Thus, when the ethnic
Armenian residents of the California town of Montebello decided
to build a monument to honor the victims of 1915 in the mid-1960s,
Myron Goldsmith, a retired army major who doubled as Turkey's honorary
consul general, lobbied the city council to prevent its construction.

The episode was colorfully depicted in journalist Michael
Bobelian's 2009 book "Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide
and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice." We learn, for instance,
that Goldman accused the Armenians of "concocting a Communist plot"
and that the State Department "contacted Montebello's city council
to pressure it to shut down the project." In the end, the council
voted in favor of the monument but "bowed to the State Department's
wishes," spurning Armenian demands for the genocide to be mentioned
in its dedicatory plaque. A former Turkish intelligence officer who
requested anonymity claimed in remarks to Al-Monitor that the Turkish
government had "wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars" in covert
operations to deface Armenian genocide memorials. California is home
to the largest Armenian diaspora community in the United States,
and three Turkish diplomats were murdered there in revenge killings
carried out by ethnic Armenians between 1973 and 1982.

In 2011, the battle against monuments shifted to Kars, a city close to
Turkey's sealed border with Armenia, where a former mayor commissioned
a sculpture that was meant to symbolize reconciliation. Turkey's
President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the work a
"freak" and an "abomination" that needed to be demolished and replaced
with "a beautiful park." Demolition of the two giant figures facing
each other, hands extended in a gesture of peace, duly began in April
of that year, with their decapitation.

"It cost more money to destroy the monument than to build," observed
former mayor Naif Alibeyoglu.

Such actions run counter to the recent softening in Turkey's official
stance -- last year, Erdogan went as far as to offer an apology of
sorts when he acknowledged the suffering endured by the Armenians in
a statement made that April 24.

Using the word "genocide" is no longer a criminal offense in Turkey.

Yet, Turkey's sustained efforts to suppress commemorative monuments
are "a pernicious kind of aggression against our right to remember,
to celebrate the fact that we are still alive," said Heghnar Zeitlian
Watenpaugh, an art historian at the University of California, in an
email interview with Al-Monitor. Should Ankara succeed in permanently
switching off Geneva's "Streetlights of Memory," the wounds of the
past will be even harder to heal.

http://www.al-monito...sed-geneva.html
 



#37 Yervant1

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 12:43 PM

AMAL CLOONEY TO REPRESENT ARMENIA IN EUROPEAN COURT

AlArabiya.net, UAE
December 23, 2014 Tuesday

Barrister and activist Amal Clooney is expected to be one of the
attorneys representing Armenia during the European Court of Human
Rights (ECHR).

By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Barrister and activist Amal Clooney is expected to be one of the
attorneys representing Armenia at the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR), Armenian daily news website Armenian Weekly reported Tuesday.

The British-Lebanese lawyer, who is involved in several major lawsuits
including defending Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and former Ukrainian
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, will make her appearance at the
European court in Strasbourg, France.

She will represent Armenia in the "Perincek v. Switzerland" case
and will be joined by two Armenian government representatives Gevorg
Kostanyan and Emil Babayan.

The court session is scheduled for January 28, 2015.

Leftist Turkish Workers' Party, Dogu Perincek was fined by a Swiss
court for having branded talk of an Armenian genocide "an international
lie" during a 2007 lecture tour in Switzerland.

Clooney, 36, - who changed her name after marrying 53-year-old
Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney in Venice in September - was
recently named London's most powerful woman.

Since her wedding, Clooney has officially returned to work to argue
the case of the Parthenon Marbles, the ancient Greek statues which
are partially housed in the British Museum in London.
 



#38 Yervant1

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:17 AM

AMAL CLOONEY TO REPRESENT ARMENIA IN EUROPEAN COURT

Huffington Post
Dec 29 2014

Posted: 12/29/2014 11:53 am EST
By Harut Sassounian

Here is a surprising news item being disclosed in this column -- Amal
Ramzi Alamuddin, wife of prominent actor and human rights activist
George Clooney, will be one of the attorneys representing Armenia
next month at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Some readers may wonder how a woman described by Elle magazine as
having "stunning looks, flirty dresses, tailored pants, colorful heels,
and gorgeous hair" is involved in such a complex legal matter?

It may be astonishing to most people that Amal Alamuddin, now Mrs.

Clooney, is much more than a pretty face! In fact, she is perfectly
qualified for this critical assignment.

Mrs. Clooney is a highly regarded attorney specializing in
international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition. She has
been involved in several major lawsuits, such as return of the Elgin
Marbles from Great Britain to Greece, and defending Julian Assange of
WikiLeaks and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She
has also worked with the Prosecutor of the UN Special Tribunal for
Lebanon, and the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

Amal was born in Lebanon to a Druze father and Sunni Muslim mother in
1978. At the age of two, her family moved to the United Kingdom. She
received her law degree from New York University School of Law and
clerked at the International Court of Justice (World Court). After
returning to London in 2010, she became a barrister at the Doughty
Street Chambers. She served as advisor to Kofi Annan, UN Special Envoy
on Syria, and as Counsel to the 2013 UN Drone Inquiry team. She is
fluent in English, French and Arabic. Her marriage to George Clooney
in September 2014 made worldwide headlines.

With such impeccable credentials, Mrs. Clooney will be a great asset
to Armenia's legal team in Strasbourg, in the appeal of Perincek vs.

Switzerland before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human
Rights on January 28.

The case involves the conviction by Swiss courts of Dogu Perincek, a
minor Turkish political party leader, who had travelled to Switzerland
in 2005 with the explicit intent of denying the truth of the Armenian
Genocide. In 2008, Perincek appealed the Swiss ruling to the European
Court of Human Rights. A majority of five out of seven ECHR judges
ruled on Dec. 17, 2013 that Switzerland had violated Perincek's right
to free expression.

This ruling was an unfair and unacceptable double standard, as the
court considered denial of the Jewish Holocaust a crime, but Armenian
Genocide denial an infringement on free speech. The five judges who
ruled against Switzerland made countless judgmental and factual
errors, misrepresenting Perincek's allegations, misinterpreting
Switzerland's laws and court rulings, lacking basic knowledge of the
Armenian Genocide, and repeatedly contradicting themselves. Two of
the seven judges disagreed with the majority's ruling and submitted
a comprehensive 19-page report on the Armenian Genocide, siding with
the Swiss court.

On March 17, 2014, Switzerland decided to appeal the ruling to ECHR's
17-judge Grand Chamber, to defend the integrity of its laws and the
country's legal system. Specifically, the Swiss government challenged
the court's decision on three grounds:

1) ECHR had never before dealt with the juridical qualification
of genocide and the scope of freedom of expression; 2) The undue
restriction of "the margin of appreciation" available to Switzerland
under ECHR's jurisprudence; 3) The establishment of 'artificial
distinctions' -- in the absence of an international verdict, ECHR
should have considered the Turkish Court's 1919 guilty verdicts against
the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide as evidence related to World
Court's jurisprudence.

Last year, when ECHR's lower court was considering Perincek's case,
Armenia did not participate. Turkey, however, intervened by submitting
extensive documentation questioning the veracity of the Armenian
Genocide. This time around Armenia will take part with a strong legal
team, which includes Geoffrey Robertson QC, a preeminent international
lawyer and author of the remarkable book, An Inconvenient Genocide:
Who Now Remembers the Armenians? Robertson will be joined in court by
his associate Amal Clooney, and two Armenian government representatives
Gevorg Kostanyan and Emil Babayan.

It is imperative that on the eve of the Armenian Genocide's Centennial
in 2015, ECHR's Grand Chamber reverse the lower court's flawed ruling,
restoring the integrity of Swiss laws and preventing Turkey and
Perincek from exporting their genocide denialism to Europe and beyond!

http://www.huffingto..._b_6369922.html
 



#39 Yervant1

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 11:01 AM

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Jan 9 2015

Turkish nationalist committee barred from entering Athens

ANKARA


The Talat PaÅ?a Committee, a Turkish nationalist organization aiming to
counter recognition of the 1915 events as the "Armenian genocide," has
been refused entry to Athens, where it had gone to issue a statement
in protest at a recently approved Greek bill.

The members of the committee left for Athens on Jan. 9 with the aim of
making a statement in front of the Greek Parliament, but returned by
the Greek authorities.

The committee wanted to protest and demand the withdrawal of a
controversial bill approved by Greece's parliament in September that
stiffens penalties for racially motivated crime and criminalizes the
denial of genocide and war crimes.

The delegation of 13 people was intercepted by police at the airport
and prevented from entering the city for `security reasons.' They were
sent back to Turkey on the next flight.

Speaking to reporters in a news conference, Turkish Foreign Minister
Mevlüt ÇavuÅ?oÄ?lu said anyone must be able to hold peaceful
demonstrations, while refuting allegations that Ankara had tried to
block the committee's visit to Greece.

Perinçek case

ÇavuÅ?oÄ?lu also commented on a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
case between Switzerland and Turkey's Workers' Party (Ä°P) Chairman
DoÄ?u Perinçek.

He said he would prefer Perinçek, who is banned from going abroad in
relation to an ongoing coup case, to be able to attend an ECHR appeal
hearing on an Armenian genocide denial-related case.

ÇavuÅ?oÄ?lu said he had expressed the same view in a phone conversation
with Perinçek, but noted that the local court in Turkey would make the
final decision.

Perinçek was found guilty by a Swiss court on March 9, 2007, after his
participation in a number of conferences in Switzerland in 2005,
during which he publicly denied that the Ottoman Empire had
perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people.

Following the Swiss court's decision, Perinçek appealed to the ECHR in
2008 in Strasbourg, arguing for `freedom of expression.'

However, Perinçek is currently prevented from leaving Turkey after
being jailed in connection with the `Ergenekon' coup plot case.

`The process is in the [Turkish] Supreme Court's hands now,' ÇavuÅ?oÄ?lu said.

The foreign minister also stressed that Turkey would `defend its
thesis in the best way possible' in the upcoming months.

January/09/2015

http://www.hurriyetd...2&NewsCatID=351
 



#40 Yervant1

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 10:18 AM

AMAL CLOONEY TAKES ON ARMENIA GENOCIDE CASE IN EUROPEAN COURT

Amal Clooney to take on next high profile case after Elgin Marbles -
the denial of the Armenian genocide by Turks in 1915

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney Photo: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP

By Nick Squires, Rome

7:24PM GMT 12 Jan 2015

After weighing into the Elgin Marbles controversy and theimprisonment
of journalists in Egypt, Amal Clooney is to step into another
high-profile case - the Armenian genocide.

A century on from the 1915 genocide, in which up to 1.5 million
Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks, the newly wed wife
of George Clooney will be part of a legal team representing Armenia
in a case involving denial of the genocide by a Turkish politician.

Dogu Perincek was found guilty by a Swiss court in 2008 of denying,
during a visit to Switzerland, that the genocide ever took place.

Mr Perincek, from the Left-wing Turkish Workers' Party, called
the genocide "an international lie" and was fined by the court in
Switzerland.

He appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,
which ruled in Dec 2013 that Switzerland had violated his right to
free expression.

That appeal is now being challenged by Armenia, with the case to be
heard by the Strasbourg court's 17-member Grand Chamber. The first
hearing has been scheduled for Jan 28.

The Armenians argue that denying the genocide should be a crime,
just as negating the Holocaust of six million Jews is a punishable
offence in many countries.

They say judges from the court in Strasbourg made a series of legal and
factual errors when they overturned Mr Perincek's original conviction.

During the case, Turkey submitted historical documents questioning
the veracity of the genocide.

As with the Elgin Marbles case, Mrs Clooney will work alongside her
head of chambers, Geoffrey Robertson, QC.

Their involvement in the case was confirmed to The Telegraph by their
chambers in London.

Mr Robertson recently published a book on the historical controversy,
"An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?".

The book, released in October, "proves beyond reasonable doubt that
the horrific events of 1915 constituted the crime against humanity that
is known today as genocide", according to the publishers, Random House.

Armenians around the world will commemorate the centenary of the
genocide on April 24, when Armenians began to be rounded up and killed
by the Turks.

Tens of thousands of able-bodied men were killed while women, children
and the elderly were forced out of Turkey on death marches into the
Syrian desert.

In a contemporary report, the New York Times described the massacres as
"a plan to exterminate the whole Armenian people".

Turkey continues to deny that the genocide took place, but it is
recognised as such by more than 20 countries around the world.

Two weeks after marrying the Hollywood actor and director in Venice,
Oxford-educated Mrs Clooney was in Athens to advise the Greek
government on how best to proceed with their claim over the Elgin
Marbles, which are on display at the British Museum in London.

A barrister with Doughty Street Chambers in London, she was called to
the bar in 2010 and specialises in international law, human rights
and extradition. Fluent in French and Arabic, she has represented
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and Yulia Tymoshenko,
the former prime minister of Ukraine.

http://www.telegraph...pean-court.html
 






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