Turkey expects ECHR to stick to earlier ruling over Swiss appeal on Armenian Genocide case

Turkey has said it is confident that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will stick to the court’s earlier decision ruled that punishing denials of the Armenian genocide constitute a violation of freedom of expression, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The statement came following the court’s acceptance of Switzerland’s request for the referral of the judgment delivered by the ECHR on the Perinçek v. Switzerland case on Dec. 17, 2013.

“We are confident that the Grand Chamber will be guided by exclusively legal considerations when hearing the case. One cannot imagine an outcome different than the chamber judgment of Dec. 17, 2013, considering the jurisprudence of the ECHR and the fundamental principles of law,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement late June 3.

“While the ECHR’s judgment of Dec. 17, 2013, endorsed the principle of ‘the protection of the freedom of expression which is the fundamental element of societies committed to freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,’ Switzerland has brought the matter before the Grand Chamber on entirely political motives,” it added.

“Thus, once again,” the statement read, “this will be an adequate response against initiatives attempting to politicize history and law, and will strongly confirm that freedom of expression, which is the building block of democratic societies, is under protection.”

Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Doğu Perinçek, who said that “the Armenian genocide is an international lie,” had complained that Swiss courts had breached his freedom of expression, based on Article 10 covering freedom of expression.

Issued on Dec. 17, 2013, the ECHR ruling stated that “the free exercise of the right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature is one of the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression and distinguishes a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a totalitarian or dictatorial regime.”

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