Press Release: The claims by the Armenian Government in the case of Perincek v. Switzerland are satisfied by the European Court of Human Rights

On 15 October 2015, the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber delivered a judgment in the case of Perincek v. SwitzerlandArmenia had intervened as a third party in the case.

Intervening as a third party, the Republic of Armenia anticipated formulations that could cast doubt on the reality of the Armenian Genocide to be excluded from the Court’s Chamber judgment.

In the judgment delivered today, the European Court of Human Rights noted that it was not to determine whether the massacres and mass deportations suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 onwards could be characterised as genocide within the meaning of that term under international law. The Grand Chamber further established that the Court had no authority to make legally binding pronouncements, one way or the other, on this point.

In its judgment, the Court also held that the Armenians have the right to respect for their and their ancestors’ dignity, including their right to respect for their identity constructed around the understanding that their community has suffered genocide. The Court herewith established that these beliefs of the Armenians alongside with the dignity associated with them are subject for protection under the Convention standards.

And finally, by this particular case convening Perincek, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his criminal prosecution did not itself contradict to the Court’s case law, but held that the Swiss law had been applied inadequately in respect of Perincek. Thus, the criminalization of the Armenian Genocide denial and criminal prosecution for it are generally considered legitimate. However, it should be done exclusively within the Convention standards.

In result, all the claims submitted with the Court by the Armenian Government are satisfied.

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