|September 19, 2005 | The Associated Press | Bern
SWITZERLAND BRINGS MORE CHARGES
AGAINST TURKISH POLITICIAN
FOR DENYING ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Swiss authorities brought two further charges
against a Turkish politician for allegedly breaking Switzerland's
racial discrimination laws by denying that the killings of Armenians
around the time of World War I was a genocide, police said Monday.
Dogu Perincek, the leader of the Turkey's Workers' Party, made the
remarks Sunday in a speech in central Switzerland, Bern cantonal
(state) police said in a statement. He then repeated them Monday in
a news conference in Zurich, and was charged by the city's police,
spokesman Marco Cortesi said.
Perincek already had been charged twice by Swiss authorities for two
previous, similar incidents.
Denying that the Holocaust or other cases of genocide took place is
regarded as racial discrimination under Swiss law, and can be punished
by up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine.
"Based on the fact that, in the course of his address, Dogu Perincek
denied the Armenian genocide and expressed prejudices against the
western world, the Bern cantonal police has put down a complaint
because of suspicion of racial discrimination," the police statement
Perincek will be questioned Tuesday by police in neighboring Vaud
canton, where he already is under investigation for similar remarks
made in May, Bern police spokeswoman Anastasia Falkner said.
Swiss authorities launched a second investigation into Perincek in
July for making similar remarks in northern Switzerland, and Perincek
was briefly detained after that speech. Turkey called the Swiss
ambassador to the Foreign Ministry to protest Perincek's detention
Similar disputes have erupted in the past between Turkey and
Switzerland. In June, a Turkish Cabinet minister postponed a visit
to Switzerland to protest an investigation of a Turkish historian
who denied in a separate speech that the killings were genocide.
In July, Turkey canceled a proposed visit by Swiss Economics Minister
Joseph Deiss because of "schedule clashes," Deiss's spokesman said.