Hürriyet, Turkey
May 8 2006

French historian group protests Armenian genocide bill

A group of French historians, who last month put together a letter of
protest against a proposed "Armenian genocide law," have now come
together again to publish a declaration against the draft of the new
law, which mandates prison sentences for those who deny the genocide.

The bill, which was put together by the opposition Socialist Party in
France, and which will come before the French Parliament on May 18
for debate, has elicited protest from French historians on the
grounds that it carries stiff penalities for those denying the
Armenian claims, and in this sense infringes on freedom of expression
in France. The declaration from the group of historians against the
bill, who have expressed that they are "in a state of deep shock"
about it, notes, among other things, that "history teachers in French
schools will be taken hostage by this law."

Among the historians signing off on this new declaration of protest
are well-known French academics such as Jean-Pierre Azema, Elisabeth
Badinter, Marc Ferro, Jacques Julliard, Pierre Nora, Mona Ozouf,
Jean-Pierre Vernant, and Pierre Vidal-Naquet.