Press Release Regarding The Annulment By The Constitutional Council Of France Of The Law Concerning The “criminalization Of The Denial Of The Genocides In The Absence Of A Court Decision”

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 27.01.2017

No: 30, 27 January 2017

The Constitutional Council of France annulled yesterday (26 January) the relevant amendment on the Law on Equality and Citizenship, adopted by the French Parliament on 22 December 2016, which expands the scope of the law in order to criminalize the denial of the genocides in the absence of a court decision. The French Constitutional Council decided the relevant Article violated the right to freedom of expression and was in breach of the French Constitution.

This decision of the French Constitutional Council, which is in line with its previous decision in 2012 and the principles that Turkey upholds with regard to historical controversies, once again demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law and to the principles of freedom of speech, an indispensable element of democracy.

This decision is a significant legal gain preventing the unlawful restriction of democratic debates on historical controversies for the sake of futile domestic political concerns.

We expect that those who try to exploit historical controversies for political purposes, would draw necessary lessons from this decision.

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