BERN, SWITZERLAND — The Swiss Government announced today it will appeal the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on December 17, 2013, overturning the conviction of Dogu Perinçek for denying the Armenian Genocide.
The decision was made by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice to ask the ECHR’s Grand Chamber to review the ruling in order to clarify the scope available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal Code to combat racism. The anti-racism law was created in 1995 in order to comply with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
In 2007, Mr. Dogu Perinçek was convicted under the Swiss anti-racism law for publicly denying the Armenian Genocide. He failed to win two appeals in Swiss courts, then appealed to the ECHR. On December 17, 2013, the ECHR overturned this conviction on the grounds of freedom of speech.
The International Association of Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) (IIGHRS) and the Switzerland-Armenia Association (SAA) have worked together since December, along with a team of scholars and experts in international human rights law, major Armenian organizations and individuals, as a strategic team to inform and educate Swiss public opinion.
Le Temps (Geneva), in covering this story, wrote, “Armenian associations in Switzerland are highly mobilized in collaboration with The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, which took a full-page advertisement in newspapers, including “Le Temps.” A petition that has more than 10,000 signatures was also sent to the Minister of Justice and Police, Simonetta Sommaruga, for Switzerland to appeal.”