Armenia has not lost the Armenian Genocide case at the European Court of Human rights, human right lawyer Amal Clooney said in an interview with the BBC.
“The case was brought to the Court by little known Turkish politician Dogu Perincek. He appealed against Switzerland, which found him guilty of denying the Armenian Genocide,” Clooney said.
She reminded that Armenia’s demands were in no way related to whether or not Perincek would incur criminal penalties. “Our objections of Armenia were related to the wording used in the case, implying the denial of genocide,” she said.
“For example, the Court was stressing the difference between the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, saying that the first one is provable, while the second is not. Our objective was to ensure that the Court refuse from using such wording in the Perincek case. And we won,” Amal Clooney said.
“When making the decision, a number of judges said the Court shouldn’t have considered the matter at all, as it has nothing to do with the case, but many agreed that there is proof of the Armenian Genocide. I respect Armenia’s position in this case. It was defending the freedom of speech, no one was saying Perincek had to be jailed,” the lawyer added.
“There are people of higher status than Perincek who have openly recognized the fact of the Armenian Genocide, the Pope, for instance. That’s why I don’t think they are particularly concerned by Perincek’s opinion,” Clooney added.
“On the other hand, Turkey also had something to say on the case, but that country has the worst freedom of speech record in the Council of Europe. I think people do not completely understand the case,” she noted.
“Neither Armenia, nor I as Armenia’s representative, stood against freedom of speech. We just wanted the Court to be precise, when considering the genocide case,” Amal Clooney concluded.