Turks Sentenced in Switzerland for Denying Armenian Genocide

Turks Sentenced in Switzerland for Denying Armenian Genocide

BERN, Switzerland (Combined Sources)–A Swiss court has ruled against three Turkish-born residents for denial of the Armenian Genocide in a case filed by the Chairman of the Switzerland-Armenia Union, Sargis Shahinyan.

Ali Mercan, the Europe-based representative of the Party of Turkish Workers, and two others were found guilty of violating the Swiss Law on Preventing Racism and are obliged to pay 30 thousand Swiss francs and are facing 150 days imprisonment.  The verdict was appealed by the Turks, however, Swiss Federal Court confirmed the legitimacy of the verdict.

During a demonstration in June of 2007, Mercan had denied the Armenian genocide had taken place. The other two Turks were co-organizers of the demonstration. All three had said during the 2008 hearing by the district tribunal of Winterthur that they were ready “at any time” to organize a new demonstration and to take the same line.

Mercan has said the defendants will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

This ruling stands in stark contrast to the ruling by the Armenian courts in a similar case brought by the “ARARAT” Center for Strategic Research in 2009 against the Caucasus Institute in 2009, in which the defendant was being accused for denial of the Armenian Genocide.  In this case, the Armenian courts found that the use of the word genocide in quotation marks, use of the word “allegations” to refer to the Armenian Genocide  and characterizing it as an event “about which serious doubts remain and intense discussion is still going on” do not constitute genocide denial. 

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Related articles:

Swiss court fines Turks for denying Armenian genocide

Swiss Court Confirms Conviction of Turks for Denying Armenian Genocide

STATEMENT by the ARARAT Center for Strategic Research Regarding the April 28, 2010 Ruling by the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia

Denial of Armenian Genocide in Yerevan

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