Armenian group demands take down website Turkish consulate

By EDRi · November 3, 2004

On 15 November 2004 a Paris court (Tribunal de Grand Instance) is scheduled to decide about a request from an Armenian group to take-down part of the website of the Turkish consulate in France. The Armenian group, the Comité de défense de la cause arménienne, CDCA, accuses the Turkish consul of spreading ‘denial propaganda’, denying the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman empire.

The CDCA bases its complaint on a resolution adopted by the European Parliament in 1987, and on a law adopted in France in 2001 specifically condemning the denial of the Armenian genocide. According to the CDCA the judge should also punish the hosting provider, Wanadoo, for not controlling the content of websites of their customers and not responding adequately to the complaint.

On 21 June 2004 France implemented the European e-Commerce directive that regulates the liability of providers for the content of their customers. The French LEN (Loi pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique) was criticised severely by human rights groups and even tested by the Constitutional Council for endangering freedom of expression, amongst others, by introducing a notice and take down procedure that turns providers into private judges (article 6).

Meanwhile, the Turkish defence is arguing to declare the court incompetent, because of the diplomatic immunity of the office.

Le génocide arménien et la portée juridique de l’article 6 de la LCEN sur la responsabilité des hébergeurs (13.10.2004)

Press release Comité de défense de la cause arménienne (French and English, 12.10.2004)

Website Turkish consulate (generates failure message)
also available through a personal website of the Turkish Consul

Full dossier on the LEN by EDRI-member IRIS