13 October 2017
Ara Toranian, editor-in-chief of the French magazine Nouvelles d’Arménie, will appear in court on October 17, following a lawsuit filed against him for defamation. Mr. Toranian, who is also the co-president of the Armenian Organisations Coordination Council of France (CCAF), is accused of having compared a denialist of the Armenian genocide to notorious French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.
Current French legislation does not allow for the prosecution of those denying the Armenian genocide. But never before did an advocate for memory and historical truth find himself on the bench of the accused for denouncing a denialist.
On October 10, one of France’s major newspaper, Libération, published an appeal in support of Ara Toranian. Signed by renowned French personalities, including Charles Aznavour, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Serge Klarsfeld, Michel Onfray and many others, the appeal highlights the fact that if “each genocide has its specificities, denialism always proceeds from the same hateful mechanism. (…) Ara Toranian was entirely right to compare a denialist of the Armenian genocide to Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.” The text of the appeal also emphatically denounces “this crude attempt to manipulate freedom of expression and reverse roles”.
AGBU Europe joins the campaign in support of Ara Toranian; AGBU France is among those organizations calling for a rally on October 17 in front of the District Court of Paris.