Voulez-vous deny that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians during World War I ce soir? Not for long.
The New York Times reports that the French Senate has just passed a bill that would make it a criminal offense to deny that the deaths of Armenians at the hands of Turkish armed forces between 1915-1916 constituted genocide.
The controversial bill, which has yet to be signed by President Sarkozy, states that any individual denying the deaths were genocide would face a jail term and a fine of about $58,000.
The Armenian government estimates that 1.5 million individuals were killed during the period in question. The Turkish government rejects the "genocide" label and contends that the total number of deaths was actually less than 1.5 million, which is kind of a weak strongest point, guys.
The Times adds that:
"In Turkey, the public affirmation of the Armenian genocide is treated as a crime, on the premise that it is an insult to Turkish identity."
Turkey argues that the bill would limit freedom of speech in France.
[Image via AP]