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Hearings in Doğu Perinçek’s case at ECHR are over

Right

The hearings in “Perinçek vs. Switzerland” case at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights are over. As “Armenpress” reports, the European Court will announce a verdict in relation to the case within 6­8 months. During the trial, attorney Jeffrey Robertson emphasized the fact that the modern world has to live freely, without hatred and discrimination. In his speech, Robertson referred to Talaat Pasha as the Turkish Hitler.

Amal Clooney touched upon the gloomy picture of freedom of speech in Turkey and human rights violations. Clooney also touched upon the murder of Hrant Dink, emphasizing the fact that is was committed by Turk nationalists.

Armenians and Turks are holding a protest in front of the court building. Dozens of police officers and police cars are overseeing the participants of the protest. The supporters of the Armenian side are screaming “1915 Never Again” and “It Is Time”. Doğu Perinçek was the first to speak during the first session that began at 12:15 Yerevan time.

According to rules, the next speakers will be the delegations of Switzerland (as the defendant), as well as the delegations of Armenia and Turkey. Representing the Armenian side will be Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Armenia at the European Court of Human Rights Gevorg Kostanyan, as well as two international lawyers representing Armenia’s interests at the ECHR, Amal Clooney and Jeffrey Robertson.

On March 9, 2007, the Swiss court had convicted Doğu Perinçek under Article 216 of the Criminal Code for denying the Armenian Genocide, subjecting him to financial and criminal liability. The Court of Appeals of Vo Canton and the Federal Supreme Court had denied the appeal submitted against the March 9 verdict. On December 17, 2013, the ECHR had ruled in favor of Perinçek’s lawsuit that was filed against Switzerland, according to which Swiss courts had violated Perinçek’s right to freedom of speech. On March 11, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice had informed that Switzerland was preparing to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with the demand for the Grand Chamber to reconsider Perinçek’s case. The ECHR had sent the case to the Grand Chamber prior to March 17. On August 25, Armenia filed an application to participate in the trial. Turkey had also filed an application to participate.

Switzerland is the first country to criminalize denial of the Armenian Genocide by setting imprisonment and a fine for those who deny the crime against humanity.

Slovakia and Greece followed Switzerland’s example by penalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

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