Deutsche Welle
Jan 31 2012

A week after France passed a bill making it a crime to deny the
Armenian genocide of 1915, a group of French senators has taken the
law to the Constitutional Council. Turkey welcomed the senators' move.

A group of French senators has appealed to France's Constitutional
Council to block a law that would punish anyone who denied the massacre
of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1917 by Ottoman Turks.

France has considered the massacre as genocide for some time, but
last week, the French Senate angered Turkey when it passed a law
criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide.

On Tuesday, however, a group of left-wing senators said they had
collected enough signatures to force the measure to undergo a review
of its constitutionality. Sixty signatures are needed to bring a
law before the Constitutional Council. The senators said they had
collected over 70.

Law could be rejected

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the senators' move.

"This move is in keeping with what we would expect from France. I
hope the Constitutional Council will do what is necessary," Erdogan
was quoted as saying on the private NTV station.

When the law was passed on January 23, Erdogan called the measure
"discriminatory and racist." Ankara cancelled all economic, political
and military meetings with Paris in response.

France's Constitutional Council has up to a month to reach a decision
on the law's constitutionality, which could result in a rejection of
the law.

As it currently stands, the law punishes deniers of the Armenian
genocide with up to a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros

Author: Matt Zuvela (AFP, Reuters) Editor: Gregg Benzow

From: Baghdasarian