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Belgium - A Denialist Socialist Party?

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  • Belgium - A Denialist Socialist Party?

    EUROPEAN ARMENIAN FEDERATION
    for Justice & Democracy
    Avenue dela Renaissance 10
    B-1000 Bruxelles
    Tel: +322 732 70 26
    Tel/Fax:+322 732 70 27
    Email: [email protected]



    PRESS RELEASE
    For immediate release
    May 20, 2005
    Contact :Talline Tachdjian
    Tel :+322 732 70 26



    BELGIUM - A DENIALIST SOCIALIST PARTY?

    Brussels, Belgium - In the next few days, the Belgium Senate will examine
    draft law #51/1284, which would expand the genocide denial offence.
    The draft law approved earlier by the House of Representative is based upon
    a judicial definition of the crime of genocide, which would not specifically
    sanction the denial of the Armenian Genocide. The House version was enacted
    prior to the establishment of the relevant international jurisdiction. The
    issue has come to prominence recently due to the numerous instances of
    Armenian Genocide denials taking place in Belgium.

    Responding to these Armenian Genocide denials, nearly half of the members
    of the Senate are seeking to consider this law and examine amendments aimed
    at extending penalties to the denial of genocides recognized Belgium
    federal legislative bodies and by European legislative institutions. In
    this context, we firmly denounce the openly denialist position publicly
    taken by the Socialist Party (PS).

    The PS, hiding behind the past recognition by the Senate of the Armenian
    Genocide, has indirectly indicated that its will not support these
    amendments, "it is out of question to disrepute in a penal law the
    important notion of genocide."

    The PS argued that "to take legal actions in our courts, a consensus is
    required among the international community on the qualification of
    incriminated facts. This consensus of the international community has to
    go beyond resolutions without juridical significance taken by national or
    European Assemblies. If not, we would take the risk to trivialize the
    horrible meaning of the Jewish genocide undertaken by a modern State."

    This statement cynically concluded that the House of representative draft
    law could be applied "to the Armenian Genocide when it is recognized by an
    appropriate body."

    It appears to us that the PS position was imposed by the Turkish state, in
    furtherance of its policy of questioning the reality of the Armenian
    Genocide through the use of trivialization and rationalization.

    We also hold that the PS, in making comparisons to the Holocaust, has
    reduced itself to the base level of arranging a hierarchy of suffering,
    spuriously ranking victims in order importance. In sharp contrast to the
    views of the PS, we reaffirm the fraternal solidarity between the victims
    of all genocides.

    We consider moreover that the PS position, in seeking to neutralize the
    decisions of Belgium's democratic institutions, undermines our democratic
    process, especially within the Belgium Senate. We blame, as well, the
    schizophrenic attitude of the PS, which discredits itself by repudiating
    its previous positions on this very issue.

    We denounce the transparent demagoguery and narrow motivations of the PS,
    which has become obsessed with chasing the Turkish vote in the Brussels
    areas, and has been infiltrated at the highest level by notorious
    deniers. In this regard, we denounce the efforts to the PS to protect its
    ability to engage in genocide denial by seeking to block the enactment of
    legislation that would outlaw this hateful practice.

    Finally, we believe that the PS is wrong in reducing a profound moral issue
    to crass electoral considerations by enlisting the support of a fringe
    element of genocide deniers that have have neither respect for Belgium or
    Belgians.

    We call upon human rights organizations, the Centre pour l’égalité des
    chances, the members and the organization of the Common Socialist Action,
    the organization representing the victims of genocide, and especially the
    Jewish, Armenian and Tutsi organizations and civil society to demand that
    PS issue a public apology and adopt a position consistent with its
    socialist legacy and European values.

    #####


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