Armenia should welcome the Swiss Government's decision to appeal the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on December 17, 2013, overturning the conviction of Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian Genocide, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at today's meeting at the Health Ministry of Armenia.
According to the press service of the Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan said Switzerland has always been an active defender of human rights and an active crusader against xenophobia. Armenia has always expected the Swiss authorities to penalize the Armenian Genocide denial.
Serzh Sargsyan expressed hope that the repeated consideration of the case will not violate the feelings of the nations that have gone through genocide and will not desecrate the memory of the millions of victims.
To recall, in 2007, Mr. Dogu Perincek 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 and the Switzerland-Armenia Association 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."