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Armenians hail French 'genocide' vote

Armenians hail French 'genocide' vote
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The Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan helps preserve the memory of those killed in 1915, to tell their story to future generations.

Visitors on Thursday welcomed the French parliamentary vote in favour of a bill that would make it a criminal offence to deny genocide.

“They are doing it for the whole world, for the new generation which is learning history from the internet, and the internet is full of disinformation and it can mislead people,” said Arshad Zakaryan, who had taken his young daughter to the memorial.

“And if the world does not recognise and condemn the Armenian genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century, it will happen again.”

The museum’s director Hayk Demoyan rejects claims that freedom of speech is being stifled.

“Every genocide denial, especially on state level and in state-sponsored ways, must be punished,” he said.

The presidents of Turkey and Armenia have travelled to each other’s countries to watch football matches, in hugely symbolic gestures. But the genocide question still haunts bilateral relations and has now seriously strained Ankara’s contacts with France.

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