A bill foreseeing punishment for the rejection of allegations on World War One genocide of Ottoman Armenians in France was approved by the Senate on Friday despite an earlier ruling by the Constitutional Court rejecting a similar proposal and European Union precedents.
The upper chamber of French parliament approved the bill with 156 senators voting for and 146 senators voting against it. The bill is expected to go into effect in three weeks after its re-introduction to the French National Assembly.
The Armenian lobby in France started the process in 2006, with the French National Assembly first recognizing the genocide allegations as a crime. In December 2011, another bill for punishment was adopted, which was approved by the Senate on January 2012. However, the Constitutional Council overturned the law stating that it breached freedom of expression. The recent bill was approved in the lower chamber in July.
Senate Speaker Gerard Larcher, who held a meeting with Turkish Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman on Oct. 13, abstained from voting.
For the bill to be taken before the Constitutional Council, the senate or assembly speaker needs to object it, or at least 60 senators or deputies need to sign the appealing motion.
In Oct. 2015, the European Court of Human Rights's Grand Chamber ruled in favor of Turkish politician Doğu Perinçek, who was sentenced by a Swiss court with a similar legislation.