CANBERRA, Australia—The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) met with the Swiss Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Marcel Stutz, to present the Armenian-Australian community’s concerns over the recent judgment handed down by the European Court for Human Rights in the Perincek v. Switzerland case. ANC Australia called on Switzerland to appeal the outcome.
In 2007, Turkish politician Dogu Perincek was convicted by the Federal Court of Switzerland for publicly denying the Armenian Genocide, which included his public statement that “the genocide is an international lie.”
The ECHR subsequently ruled that it was not a crime for Perincek to publicly deny the Armenian Genocide, contrary to Swiss laws prohibiting denial and other European directives urging states to take a stronger stance in fighting denial of genocide and crimes against humanity.
ANC Australia voiced the serious concerns of Armenian-Australians, and Armenians worldwide, regarding the ECHR’s December 17, 2013 decision, which rejected the Swiss court’s 2007 decision to penalize, under Swiss Penal Law, Perincek’s vehement denial of the Armenian Genocide.
ANC Australia presented to the Swiss Ambassador a list of factual inaccuracies that were evident in the ECHR’s judgment and called upon the Swiss Government to appeal the judgment.
ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian commented at the conclusion of the meeting: “We welcome the opportunity to have met with the Swiss Ambassador to Australia and to have discussed this important issue.”
“Switzerland has been an international leader in both genocide recognition and the criminalization of genocide denial and therefore we strongly urge the Swiss authorities to appeal the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights,” Kahramanian added.