PARIS—In an interview with Armenian news agency News.am, French Member of Parliament Valerie Boyer, a strong advocate for Armenian issues in France, said instead of visiting Armenia and Artsakh on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, as she has visited on April 24 in previous years, she will be staying in Marseille to host the city’s numerous commemorative events marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
“Senator of Marseille Jean Claude Gaudin devoted 2015 to Armenia. In this context the city will host numerous cultural events referring to Armenia and Armenians. On April 24 the municipality of Marseille and the municipalities of all districts will turn into the colors of Armenia. So, I chose to stay with the French of Armenian descent to show them my support and commitment,” Boyer said.
Boyer mentioned that 100 trees will be planted near the April 24 monument in Marseille, not to mention conferences and exhibitions. We will honor the Armenian culture and our duty.
Boyer said that she wants France to criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide after the adoption of her bill by the National Assembly and the Senate in 2012, which was a step forward in terms of a law on criminalization.
“This will be an important move forward and will ban tarnishing the memories of thousands of men, women and children who died just because their only crime was being Armenian Christians,” Boyer said.
Boyer explained that she is pushing for a new bill to be adopted by French lawmakers which would bypass the Constitutional Court’s objections to the previous bill.
Commenting on Turkey’s decision to hold commemorations for the Battle of Gallipoli on April 24, Boyer said, “This is a pathetic initiative. However, instead of commenting on what is happening in Turkey, let’s find a voice in France to fulfill our duty to ensure continuation of the law to criminalize denial. Help me so that the bill presented in April 2014 could be considered and adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate in 2015.”
“We will not yield to threats by the Turks or to any delays because of political and legal reasons in France,” Boyer concluded.