Lei Francesa sobre o Genocídio Armênio

Em janeiro de 2012, o Senado francês aprovou uma lei que criminaliza o não-reconhecimento de qualquer genocídio reconhecido pelo Estado, relata Clementine de Montjoye.

Em 23 de Janeiro de 2012, o Senado francês aprovou uma lei que criminaliza o não-reconhecimento de qualquer genocídio reconhecido pelo Estado. Essa lei já havia sido aprovada na França em 1990 porém somente com relação ao Holocausto. No entanto, a lei agora também se aplica ao destino dos armênios em 1915, já que a França reconheceu oficialmente esses eventos como genocídio em 2001. O projeto fez duas alterações à lei original sobre o reconhecimento do Holocausto. Em primeiro lugar, incluiu a proteção da honra das vítimas de genocídio, crimes de guerra, crimes contra a humanidade e crimes de colaboração com o inimigo. A revisão criminalizou não somente os elogios aos crimes de guerra cometidos, mas também à minimização e contestação da existência de genocídios. Em segundo lugar, permitiu que associações de memoriais possam legalmente defender a honra de qualquer cidadão vítima de crime de guerra e/ou crime contra a humanidade, bem como as vítimas originais entre a resistência e os deportados. A pena máxima pelo crime foi decidida por €45.000 em multa e até um ano de prisão.

Uma tentativa para a remoção do artigo foi feita na Assembleia Nacional em dezembro de 2011, mas foi rejeitada. Os que defendem a lei argumentam que uma vez que estes massacres são reconhecidos pelo Estado, são verdades incontestáveis. Eles não devem simplesmente ser deixados abertos para debates entre historiadores, mas devem tornar-se uma parte do campo político. No entanto, em 28 de fevereiro de 2012, a lei foi declarada inconstitucional pelo Tribunal Constitucional. Setenta deputados de todos os partidos políticos, incluindo o próprio UMP, partido de Sarkozy, apoiaram esta decisão. A lei foi considerada um ataque à liberdade de expressão, e deputados argumentaram que a verdade histórica não pode ser estabelecida por leis.

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Comentários (5)

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  1. While its title is dominated by it, this law is not only controversial in its relation to the internationally disputed Armenian Genocide, but also because of the implicit principles by which it is set. As is always the case with law you must look beyond its immediate consequences and question what precedent it actually sets. In this case it is both nuanced and controversial. The law explicitly forbids the denial or minimization of any genocide recognized by the French government, and works in follow up to the Holocaust denial law that came in place as early as 1990. The logic behind it seems reasonable enough: the holocaust and other genocides are such atrocious and shameful acts that denying or undermining them is simply unacceptable. Not only is it historically inaccurate to deny them, it is disrespectful, offensive, and, quite frankly, despicable. However even though almost everyone would agree that this kind of act is morally reprehensible, it is still worthwhile to question whether it is lawfully preventable. The answer to that is much more complicated.
    If the reason behind banning the practice is because it is disrespectful and ignorant, then this law is in violation of our idea of freedom of speech. Ignorance and disrespect is not and should not be illegal. If the reason is because it is directly offensive to a group of people who share sensitivities about the issue, then we must really question to what extent should offense and potential emotional harm be worthy of censorship. If the reason is because those who deny these events are usually themselves extremists, and seek to incite hatred and violence against a group of people and should therefor be contained anyway, then this law may hold some merit, but we must still ask whether this is really the most efficient way to legislate against these people.
    The question becomes even more difficult when you enter upon the idea of a historical conscience, and inherited guilt within a nation such as Germany. Perhaps this curtailment of free speech is really just an attempt at atonement for the wrongs that they may have committed. Again the question is not whether it is morally permissible, but whether it is legally permissible. And if the precedent and consequences of this law are closely evaluated, then it appears that legislators have overstepped their bounds with this one.

  2. I agree with Clementine de Montjoye: it’s no sense to try to impose an oficial truth by legal coaction. Serious historians agree on subjects as the armenian genocide after WW1 or the jews genocide during WW2. What’s the advantage of forbiding other opinions over those past facts?

  3. You write in reply that we should try to “prevent history from repeating itself. ” That reminds one of Santayana’s oft-quoted snippet of wisdom. There was never a more striking instance of a wise-sounding maxim deluding people. It is quite impossible to prevent history from repeating itself because people do not seek and acquire great power to help mankind or to work for everlasting peace: their sole concern is power and its exercise in their own interests.
    Jack Dixon

  4. The French government should butt out of other peoples’ affairs. They have too many of their own national scandals to justify their meddling in others’. To begin with, let us remember that France was the only government actively to collaborate with Hitler and the Nazi regime during the Second World War. Are they going to make it illegal to discuss that treachery to the Allied cause ?

    • Hi Jack,

      I’m afraid this is not entirely accurate. Other governments collaborated with the Nazis, and in my opinion the debate about this law has nothing to do with placing blame for events that took place in the past. It is just a question of educating people about the past, however embarrassing and traumatic it may be, in order to avoid taboos and prevent history from repeating itself.

      It undeniable that we need to speak up more for the injustices and genocides of this world, that have often been forgotten and ignored by the international community. However, it is a matter of educating rather than forcing people to respect these events.

      Thank you for your comment though.

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Liberdade de Expressão em Debate é um projeto de pesquisa do Programa Dahrendorf para o Estudo da Liberdade de Expressão, do Colégio St Antony's na Universidade de Oxford. www.freespeechdebate.ox.ac.uk

A Universidade de Oxford