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Common Appeal Launched At The Belgian Senate

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  • Common Appeal Launched At The Belgian Senate

    COMMON APPEAL LAUNCHED AT THE BELGIAN SENATE BY

    - The Association of Armenian Democrats in Belgium (A.A.D.B.)
    - The Kurdish Institute of Brussels
    - The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (E.A.F.J.D.)
    - The Info-Turk Foundation
    - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
    - The LDH Human Rights Organisation (LDH – Belgium)
    - The Movement against Racism, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia (MRAX)

    -----


    THE DENIAL OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MUST ALSO BE SANCTIONED AS CRIME

    Brussels, Belgium (May 25, 2005) – In the next few days, the Belgian Senate
    will examine and vote upon the draft law #51/1284 which would expand the
    offence of genocide denial. 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 those instances of Armenian Genocide denial, 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 by the
    Belgian federal legislative bodies and by the European legislative
    institutions.
    However, the Senate is subjected to strong pressures from denialist lobbyists
    asking for the rejection of those amendments.

    In this context, we call upon the Senators to show firmness and discernment by
    adopting an unambiguous wording that clearly criminalizes the denial of the
    Armenian Genocide. We recall that genocide denial is not the expression of an
    opinion but the continuation of the crime of genocide. We also recall that
    other genocides, notably that of Jews, also happened before the juridical
    definition of this crime that they unequivocally relate to.

    Beyond their specificities and particularities, we object to all forms of
    grading of genocides and therefore to all competition between victims, and we
    reaffirm that the denial of the Armenian Genocide – like the denial of other
    genocides – repulses in equal measure all groups of victims as well as
    supporters of humanism.

    We also object to all forms of trivialisation by which all mass crimes would be
    qualified as genocide. However, we also observe that scholarly works have shown
    beyond all reasonable doubt the political and concerted nature of the Armenian
    Genocide.

    We also consider that the crime of the Armenian genocide denial does not aim
    any definite group of the population on ethnic or religious criteria – and not
    particularly Turkish or Turkish origin populations – but all persons who would
    become guilty of the offence of genocide denial.

    Finally, we refuse intolerant structures that artificially set communities
    against each other. We believe that this conception harms any reconciliation
    between Armenians and Turks. We remind ourselves that this conception is also
    precisely the one that could lead to a worsening of socio-political
    circumstances.

    On the other hand, we consider that civil peace and reconciliation can only be
    based on justice, whose one vocation is to say the truth. This is why it is
    urgent to recognize the Armenian Genocide, like it is now also urgent to
    criminalized its denial.

    ####

    E.A.F.J.D.
    Avenue de la Renaissance 10 – 1000 BRUXELLES
    Tel. : +32 (0) 2 732 70 26 - Tel. / Fax. : +32 (0) 2 732 70 27
    E-mail : [email protected] - Site Internet : http://www.eafjd.org
    [url]http://www.ArmenianAncestry.com[/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]
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