débats sur le négationnisme du génocide arménien


zaman.com Published: (April) Saturday 23, 2005

Belgium Punishes Armenian Genocide Deniers

By Selcuk Gultasli

Belgium prepares to give imprisonment and fines to those who deny the Armenian Genocide. The extended present Jewish Genocide bill was accepted in the Belgian parliament on Thursday, April 21.

There were 108 "Yes" votes but no "No" votes against the new law and there were also 21 abstainers in the election. Thus, Belgium will be the first country where those who deny the Armenian Genocide are sentenced to prison and fined. If the bill is put into practice, the Turkish politicians in this country will have difficulties voicing their ideas.

The law draft passed from the Justice Commission on April 15 and was approved on April 21 then sent to the Senate. If it is accepted by the Senate it will be sent to the King. Observes noted that it is bad news that the draft passed from the parliament because most of the drafts that were accepted by the parliament are accepted by the Senate.

The draft, which was accepted on April 21 and extends the present Jewish Genocide Law envisages imprisonment from eight days to one year and a fine from 26 euros to 5,000 euros to the "deniers." These punishments will be given to those who underestimate the genocide, who defend it and who support the genocide or crimes against humanity. These crimes have to be described by the International Law. Denying Genocide in the international courts which are recognized by Belgium, United Nations (UN) General Assembly or the Security Council, Belgium Justice or any other EU member country will be sufficient to lead Belgium justice mechanism to work. Therefore, the justice mechanism will allow Belgium to bring criminal charges against the "deniers" if this action is counted as a crime in any EU country.

If the bill becomes law, politicians of Turkish origin in Belgium will have great difficulty voicing their ideas. Liberal Party member of Turkish decent Sevket Temiz who said recently on a radio broadcast that there is not strong evidence that an Armenian Genocide took place in 1915 is having great difficulty these days. Temiz's being sent to the party's disciplinary organ is on the agenda now. Temiz had suggested in his speech that an independent and common History Commission should investigate the issue. It is estimated that 150,000 Turks live in Belgium but there are only 6-7,000 Armenians living there.



débats sur le négationnisme du génocide arménien