Turkey responds to Switzerland’s decision to appeal European Court ruling on Armenian Genocide denial

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey has issued a statement in response to the referral of judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the case of “Perincek v.Switzerland” to the Grand Chamber by Switzerland. The statement reads:

“In a judgment published on 17 December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) had ruled that Switzerland breached Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on “freedom of expression” in the case of Doğu Perinçek v. Switzerland.

We have learned through the written statement by Swiss Federal Office of Justice on 11 March 2014 that Switzerland has decided to object to this judgment and refer it to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR .

Having full confidence in the rule of law, we expect that the Grand Chamber will confirm once more and forcefully that “freedom of expression”, which is the building bloc of democratic societies, is safeguarded.

In this way, we believe that the efforts to politicize the law will be aborted once again.”

The government of Switzerland announced Tuesday that it will appeal a December 17, 2013 decision by the European Court of Human Rights overturning the conviction of Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian Genocide.

The decision was made by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice, which is asking the ECtHR Grand Chamber to review the ruling to clarify the scope available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal Code to combat racism. Switzerland created this penal provision, which entered into force in 1995, to close loopholes in its criminal law and enable the country to accede to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

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