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France Senate ducks Armenian genocide bill

[JURIST] Lawmakers in the French Senate have buried a draft bill [text, in French] that would have criminalized any denial that the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey during World War I [ANI backgrounder] constituted genocide. The bill has been taken off the Senate agenda, and as presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for April through June, the new National Assembly [official website, in French] would have to hold a second vote on the bill to place it back on the agenda. EUobserver has more.

French lawmakers first tried to pass the bill [JURIST report] last May, but the legislative session ended before parliament could agree on its terms. When the debate came up again in October, the Turkish parliament [official website, in Turkish] threatened [JURIST report] to pass a similar bill [JURIST report] labeling the colonial killings of Algerians [JURIST report] by French authorities as genocide and making it illegal to deny France's culpability. The National Assembly eventually passed the bill [JURIST report]. France, home to thousands of Armenians, has already recognized the 1915-1919 killings as genocide. Turkey denies the genocide label [JURIST comment], saying the killings were part of a partisan war in which many Muslim Turks died as well.

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