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Argentina Senate passes Armenian genocide bill

[JURIST] The Argentinean Senate [official website] has unanimously approved a bill that refers to the mass killings of Armenians [BBC Q/A] in Turkey around the time of World War I as genocide and establishes a day of annual commemoration on April 24. The bill has already passed in the lower house of parliament and must still be signed by the president. The Turkish government last week condemned the bill [JURIST report], saying the draft not only disregards historical facts, but is in violation of international law [Turkish Daily News report]. PanARMENIAN.Net has more.

The Argentinean bill follows closely on the heels of controversial French legislation touching on the same issue. In October, the French National Assembly approved a bill [JURIST report] criminalizing any refusal to characterize the Armenian as genocide, but it still needs approval by the French Senate and President Jacques Chirac [official profile, in French] to become national law. Many believe that will never happen, however, as both Chirac and the European Union have separately and publicly denounced the bill, and many French observers view it as a direct violation of the nation's tradition of free speech. Chirac has already offered an apology [JURIST report] over the bill to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website; BBC profile].


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