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French Highest Court Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Denial of Armenian Genocide

• http://jonathanturley.org, JONATHAN TURLEY
 Previously we discussed the new French law making it a crime for citizens to deny or minimize the genocide of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century. It was discussed as part of a worrisome trend of limitations on free speech in the West through blasphemy, hate speech, and discrimination laws. Now the French Supreme Court has shown all of the principle that was so lacking in the government and struck down the law. In so doing, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the French commitment to liberty. To those jurists, I say “Liberté, égalité, fraternité!”

 
The law would have punished such a denial with up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of roughly $60,000. Last year, when France’s Parliament was first considering the bill, we said on this page that we found it to be a particularly egregious encroachment on civil liberties. The French council has now concluded much the same, saying such a law “infringed unconstitutionally on the exercise of the liberty of expression and communication.”

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