The European Grand Chamber affirmed the European Court of Human Rights’ invalidation of a Swiss law the criminalised disagreeing with or questioning the Armenian allegation of genocide. In the case of Perincek v. Switzerland, Turkish politician Dogu Perincek challenged Switzerland which incriminated him for expressing his opinion that the Armenian case did not constitute genocide under international law. Both the European Court of Human Rights and the Grand Chamber agreed with Mr. Perincek, holding that though contrary to the Swiss government’s opinion, Mr. Perincek’s opinion did not constitute hate speech, particularly because the question of whether the Armenian case constitutes genocide is a legitimate historical and legal debate, which is quite different from the Holocaust which is a legally proven case of genocide.
Importantly, by this decision, Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis was also vindicated for France’ illegal incrimination of him for lecturing that the Armenian case did not constitute genocide.
“[T]hat the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the same as what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany is a downright falsehood. What happened to the Armenians was the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks, which began even before war broke out, and continued on a larger scale.
But to make this a parallel with the holocaust in Germany, you would have to assume the Jews of Germany had been engaged in an armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the allies against Germany. That in the deportation order, the cities of Hamburg and Berlin were exempted, persons in the employment of the state were exempted, and the deportation only applied to the Jews of Germany proper, so that when they got to Poland they were welcomed and sheltered by the Polish Jews. This seems to me a rather absurd parallel.”
April 14, 2002, at the National Press Club on C-Span 2