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-- Brussels Court Returns Verdict Designating Emir Kir as a Genocide Denier
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (Monday 14 November 2005) - A civil court in Belgium has returned a verdict finding Emir Kir (Socialist Party), the State Secretary of the Brussels region of Belgium, a "liar," and "denier" in connection with his statements and actions concerning the Armenian Genocide.
Kir has said that he will appeal the verdict.

The court proceedings began after Kir lodged a complaint against the administrators of a website, Messrs Mehmet Koksal
and Pierre-Yves Lambert, on the grounds that the website misrepresented him. The accusations included the charge that Kir had falsely claimed to have an educational degree, that he had taken liberties with the law on electoral expenses, that he had taken part in demonstrations denying the Armenian Genocide, and that he had articulated positions denying this crime
against humanity. The finding against Kir confirms that Armenian Genocide denial is not protected freedom of expression, but rather a profound moral
outrage which can be denounced as such.

The verdict clearly spells out that the ourt "considers as an established fact that the demonstration [in which Mr. Kir took part] actually aimed to refute - hence to deny - that the crime committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkey in 1915-1916 constituted a genocide." The court
rejected Kir's claim that his refusal to use the term genocide was due to the fact that an independent committee of historians has yet to make this
determination. The Court noted that, y "deliberately ignoring the extensive documentation that already exists" Kir was effectively denying the Armenian Genocide.

The Court found that the authors of the website were "by no means wrong" in applying the "denier" characterization to Kir, and went on to note that
this type of clear labelling of deniers serves the common good and advances the purposes established by Belgian law to penalize Armenian Genocide denial.

"This verdict could not be more timely - coming as it does at the moment when Ankara is launching legal actions around the world against public and
private institutions that teach truthfully about the Armenian Genocide," said Laurent Leylekian, the Executive Director of the European Armenian
Federation. "Through this court action, Belgian civil society is calling on Belgian legislator to impose strict penalties on the denial of the
Armenian Genocide, officially imposing sanctions against all those, who through their denials, insult to the dignity of Armenians and all Belgians. As such, we ask Minister of Justice, Mrs Onkelinx, and the Senate to reactivate the draft law on this subject that they had previously tabled," added Leylekian.

"It is urgent that Europeans formally criminalize denial before Turkey - the denier State that has applied for membership in the European Union - has
the opportunity to seek to impose its denials on Europe from within. Belgium should and must be on the front lines of this noble effort," concluded Leylekian.
for Justice & Democracy
Avenue de la Renaissance 10
B-1000 Bruxelles
Tel: +322 732 70 26
Tel/Fax:+322 732 70 27

For immediate release
November 15th, 2005
Contact :Talline Tachdjian
Tel :+322 732 70 26


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