Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

France considers anti-genocide speech law, Turkey protests

Turkey has protested to the European Union a law under consideration in the French National Assembly that would make it a crime to deny the genocide of Armenians in Turkey (1915-1918), punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a $57,000 fine. It is threatening to retaliate by making it a crime to deny that similar genocide took place in Algeria under French colonialism. It is estimated that between 400,000 and 1.5 Armenians were killed in Turkey between 1915-1923.

Update: The French National Assembly approved the legislation by by a vote of 106-19. It still needs ratification from the Senate and President before becoming law. Meanwhile, the Turkish parliament debated the above-mentioned legislation about denying French genocide in Algeria, but according to the Jurist, the "parliament's Justice Committee nonetheless concluded that there was little support for the measure and deferred it to a subcommittee for further review."

In related censorship news, another writer has gone on trial in Turkey; this time it is Ipek Calislar, accused of insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, in a biography about Ataturk's wife. He faces up to 4 1/2 years imprisonment if found guilty, under Article 301 of Turkey's penal code.

An editor of a Turkish newspaper also faces charges for publishing excerpts of Calislar's book.

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