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French Senate to Speed Up Vote on Armenian Genocide Bill
PARIS — French media reports say France’s upper house of parliament will vote this month on a bill to criminalize the denial of an Armenian Genocide, at the risk of incurring further sanctions from Turkey.
The French lower house adopted the bill last month, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador and suspend contacts and military cooperation with France.
If the bill passes the Senate, as expected, people who deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I constituted genocide will face a one-year jail term and a fine of up to 45,000 euros ($58,000).
Turkey has threatened a new round of retaliatory measures if the Senate passes the bill.
Intellectuals Call for Passage of the Bill
Famous singer Charles Aznavour, director Robert Guédiguian, lawyer Serge Klarsfeld, philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy and Michel Onfray, as well as Turkish writer Erol Özkoray have signed a joint appeal aiming to persuade the French Senate to ratify the the Armenian Genocide bill.
“As Elie Wiesel has written, the denial of the genocide is killing its victims for the second time. We welcome the adoption of the bill on racism, discrimination and denial by the French National Assembly on December 22.
Our target is the ban of denial on state level that the Turkish authorities bring up to France. In order the text to become a law, we call the French President, the government and the leading parties to confirm their gesture and let the Senate ratify the bill,” reads the appeal published in Le Journal du Dimanche.