PARIS—More than 3,000 French-Armenian community members were joined by French Parliament members, human rights activists and singer turned Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland, Charles Aznavour, at a demonstration Saturday demanding that the French Senate adopt a bill that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Nouvelle D’Armenie’s Jean Eckian reported that during the protest, which took place in front of the French Senate and was organized by the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France, Aznavour sent a strong message to French President Nicolas Sakozy that Armenian community’s support for his 2012 re-election bid would be in question if he did not honor his pledge to support passage of the law against Armenian Genocide denial.
A number of elected officials, members of civil society and clergy were present and urged support for the law, among them, François Pupponi, Rene Rouquet, Philippe Kaltenbach, Patrick Devedjian, and noted attorney Serge Klarsfeld and many others.
CCAF Co-Chairs Alexis Govciyan and Mourad Papazian offered impassioned remarks urging the legislators to take immediate action in support of the law. The lower house of the French National Assembly adopted the measure in October, 2006. The French Senate has not taken up the measure since. Opportunities may be made available for Senate consideration of the law on May 4 or June 30.
As a presidential candidate, Sarkozy had pledged his support for the law criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial. However, documents released by Wikileaks cite a presidential aide stating that Sarkozy would not support consideration of the law and that it would die in the French Senate.