débats sur le négationnisme du génocide arménien
zaman.com Published: (June) Wednesday 08, 2005
Belgium Rejects Armenian Bill for 'Now'
By Selcuk Gultasli, Vedat Denizli
The Belgium Senate Justice Commission disapproved a bill for prison terms and monetary fines for those, who "deny" the so-called Armenian "genocide" allegations.
The main bill regarding the crimes in the Internet environment, on the other hand, will be returned to Parliament. Belgium's Justice Minister Laurette Onkelix said if the bill had passed into law, an investigation on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could have been launched during his Belgium visit based on the reason that he was viewed as a so-called "denier". The bill, which was rejected with 12 "no" votes to two "yes" votes at the Justice Commission on Monday, will be returned to the Federal Assembly after the Senate's General Assembly discusses it. Senators of the Justice Commission remarked, the Walloon Liberal Party (Mouvement Reformateur" (MR) and the Walloon Greens Party _both support the so-called Armenian allegations_ might demand to reopen the issue for debate again at the Federal Assembly; however, they are not likely to receive any support.
The issue will not come to the agenda again until the local elections in October 2006 it is expected. During the discussions closely observed by the Armenian lobby, Onkelix emphasized that the issue should be handled after negotiations with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which form sides regarding the issue. If the bill had been approved in Parliament, Belgium as the capital of the European Union (EU) would have been the first country to punish those who deny the so-called Armenian "genocide" allegations. The issue however will be carried to the agenda again during the Belgium elections.
While debates on the bill, which both the Walloon and Fleming socialists as a bloc are against, continue, Senator Fatma Pehlivan, of Turkish decent, stressed that the bill might have serious consequences. If an international attitude regarding the so-called Armenian genocide allegations is adopted without a court decision, similar to what happened in the US and Congo should also been taken into account, Pehlivan emphasized and said if the bill is approved, this would damage peace and harmony in Belgian society. Onkelinx, on the other side, underlined the bill is "unacceptable" because the so-called Armenian genocide allegations have no legal ground. Onkelinx referring to the Nuremberg Court for the Holocaust signified that no such court exists regarding the so-called Armenian allegations. They are playing with fire, he said. Members of the MR and ECOLO parties, which demanded punishment for "deniers", cite the Armenian rebellion as the start date of the so-called genocide; however, do not touch upon the massacres that Belgium committed in the Congo during the 19th century, which was defined by many historians as "genocide".
Watching the debates closely, executive director of the European Armenian Federation Laurent Leylekian said the disapproval is a "failure" for them; however, they achieved the initiation of discussion on the subject. Leylekian indicating that the Belgium Senate's decision dated June 7 turned Turkey's "denial" into a political gimmick for EU member countries, claimed, it would be impossible to defend the so-called Armenian genocide allegations in Europe if Turkey becomes an EU member. Leylekian also told Zaman, that the issue would only start to be discussed in Turkey with the implementation of punishments for the denial of the so-called genocide allegations.
débats sur le négationnisme du génocide