The Switzerland-Armenia Association (SAA) which intervened before the Grand Chamber as third party is appalled and deeply shocked by this verdict, which comes the same year as the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the organization said in a statement.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) confirms the judgment previously delivered by the Court on December 17, 2013 in the case Perincek v. Switzerland.
To recall, it was the SAA that brought the original case before Swiss courts.
“The SAA affirms that while freedom of expression is essential and fundamental in a democratic society, it is not absolute. Freedom of expression cannot be misused for rewriting history, particularly so for seeking to deny or justify genocide, which is the most absolute and heinous of crimes.
By the present judgment, the Grand Chamber basically challenges the assessment made by
the Swiss courts, in breach of the basic principle of subsidiarity upon which by the European
Convention on Human Rights relies.
This judgment undermines the solemn recognitions that occurred during the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide that took place this year, including that of Pope Francis, ruled last April 12th at the Vatican. The present international consensus that the extermination of Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide is a historically self-evident fact.
This cannot systematically be called into question.
The SAA can only note that it is Turkey which, from the beginning, fomented and utilized Mr.
Perincek as the effective experimental ‘salesman’ of its campaign for State denialism. The SAA solemnly calls upon member States of the Council of Europe to take responsibility to pursue such cases of denialism that effectively reflect an utter rejection of the values by the Convention.
The SAA emphasizes that the judgment of the Court applies only in respect of the proceedings leading to the conviction in Switzerland of Mr. Perincek. It does not call into question the legality and existence of the anti-racism norm, as it is in force in Switzerland. This standard is not deemed contrary to the Convention, but rather reinforces and validates its values and foundations,” the statement reads.