Switzerland

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Turk Politician Again Charged in Switzerland for Denying Armenian Genocide

(AP)--Swiss authorities brought a third charge against a Turkish politician for breaking Switzerland's racial discrimination laws by denying that the killings of Armenians around the time of World War I was a genocide, police said Monday.

Dogu Perincek, the leader of the Turkey's Workers' Party, made the remarks Sunday in a speech in central Switzerland, Bern cantonal police said in a statement. He already had been charged twice by Swiss authorities for two previous, similar incidents.

Denying that the Holocaust or other cases of genocide took place is regarded as racial discrimination under Swiss law, and can be punished by up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine.

"Based on the fact that, in the course of his address, Dogu Perincek denied the Armenian Genocide and expressed prejudices against the western world, the Bern cantonal police have put down a complaint because of suspicion of racial discrimination," the police statement said.

Perincek will be questioned Tuesday by police in neighboring Vaud canton, where he is already under investigation for similar remarks made in May, Bern police spokeswoman Anastasia Falkner said. Swiss authorities launched a second investigation into Perincek in July for making similar remarks in northern Switzerland, and Perincek was briefly detained after that speech. Turkey called the Swiss ambassador to the Foreign Ministry to protest Perincek's detention and investigation.

Similar disputes have erupted in the past between Turkey and Switzerland. In June, a Turkish Cabinet minister postponed a visit to Switzerland to protest an investigation of a Turkish historian who denied in a separate speech that the killings were genocide. In July, Turkey canceled a proposed visit by Swiss Economics Minister Joseph Deiss because of "schedule clashes," Deiss's spokesman said.

UPDATE:

Swiss convict Turk of denying Armenian genocide

09 Mar 2007

Reuters

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, March 9 (Reuters) - A Swiss court found a Turkish politician guilty on Friday of denying that mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to genocide, the first such conviction under Swiss law.

Dogu Perincek, head of the leftist-nationalist Turkish Workers' Party, called the branding of the killings as genocide "an international lie" during a speech in the Swiss city of Lausanne in July 2005.

Judge Pierre-Henri Winzap sentenced him at the Lausanne criminal court to a 90-day suspended jail term and fined him 3,000 Swiss francs ($2,461), in line with the prosecutor's request, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

He ordered Perincek to pay a symbolic fine of 1,000 Swiss francs to the Swiss-Armenian Association for "moral injury".

Winzap told the court Perincek was an "arrogant instigator" and "racist" who had intentionally denied the genocide, which Swiss public opinion considered "an established historic fact".

The 65-year-old politician, whose party has no seats in the Turkish parliament, was convicted under a 1995 Swiss law which bans denying, belittling or justifying any genocide. The maximum penalty is three years.

Twelve Turks were acquitted of similar charges in 2001.

Perincek, who submitted 90 kg (200 lb) of historical documents, argued there had been no genocide against Armenians, but there had been "reciprocal massacres".

"I defend my right to freedom of expression. There was no genocide, therefore this law cannot apply to my remarks," he said in his opening statement on Tuesday.

He told reporters he would appeal the sentence which he denounced as "unjust and impartial" and "imperialist".

TURKEY SAYS NO GENOCIDE

The case has further soured relations between neutral Switzerland and Turkey, which denies any genocide during the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in World War One.

Armenia says around 1.5 million Armenians perished in the killings, while Turkey says the deaths were part of inter-ethnic fighting, disease and famine in which both sides suffered.

Ankara was incensed last year when France's parliament approved a bill that made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. The bill did not become law.

The U.S. Congress is widely expected to back a resolution next month recognising the killings as genocide. The Bush administration is opposed to the move, fearing the impact on relations with its NATO ally.

The Swiss-Armenian Association said the ruling showed the Swiss law was an "important and efficient instrument".

"The tribunal's decision today confirmed the opinion expressed during parliamentary debates that the article of the criminal code in question does not only apply to the Shoah (Jewish Holocaust)," it said in a statement.


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Community

There are about 5'000 Armenians living in Switzerland. You can find an Armenian Church in Geneva, the only one in Switzerland.

Community awards

Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland handed awards to the representatives of Armenian community

http://times.am/?l=en&p=15954

On December 7 representatives of Armenian community in Switzerland were awarded with the awards at Armenian Embassy in Switzerland. Press and information department of Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs about this.

Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland Charles Aznavour handed the awards by the Armenian Ministry of Diaspora to the director of `Topalian' Armenian school in Geneva Nevrik Azadyan, teachers of the school Hasmik Meliksetyan, Valya Dadoyan, manager of the `Arax' ensemble Diana Boyajyan and some other activists as well.

Armenian Ambassador thanked the representatives of Armenian community for assisting Armenian culture's development and their whole activities.

12.12.12, 11:48


This article contains text from a source with a copyright. Please help us by extracting the factual information and eliminating the rest in order to keep the site in accordance to fair use standards, or by obtaining permission for reuse on this site..


This article contains text from a source with a copyright. Please help us by extracting the factual information and eliminating the rest in order to keep the site in accordance to fair use standards, or by obtaining permission for reuse on this site..



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