The European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, ruled on Thursday that a Turkish politician had the right to deny that the mass killing of Armenians amounted to genocide.
The court, whose decisions are final, said that Dogu Perincek should not have been convicted of racial discrimination by a Swiss court for saying that it was an “international lie” to describe the killings as genocide in 2005.
The ECHR ruled that Perincek’s conviction and punishment “constituted an interference with the exercise of his right to freedom of expression”.
The court said that Perincek’s words, “could not be seen as a call for hatred, violence, or intolerance towards the Armenians” and “could not be regarded as affecting the dignity of the members of the Armenian community to the point of requiring a criminal law response”.
Under Swiss anti-racism laws denying genocide is a crime.