Boycott calls and double standards: another French limitation on freedom of expression

France, once the motherland of human rights, is increasingly clamping down on freedom of expression. According to a recent decision by the French Supreme Court, calling for boycott on Israeli goods is illegal under french law. Fourteen members of the activist group Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS), campaigning for the economic, academic, sports and cultural boycott of Israel, learned it the hard way in two decisions of October 20th which confirmed on the highest level of criminal jurisdiction their conviction to 12,000 € in damages and 1,000 € in fine. Joining Israel, France makes for the only european country to penalize boycott calls on products of Israeli origin.

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Perinçek v. Switzerland: Between Freedom of Speech and Collective Dignity

In its recent Grand Chamber decision "Perinçek v Switzerland" the ECtHR, once again, declares Armenian genocide denial protected against criminal prosecution by the right to free speech. The Court substantially disregards the specific atmosphere of denialism and gross violations of the rights of minorities in Turkey, moving central attention instead to Switzerland where – supposedly – no tensions are possible on the anti-Armenian grounds. The Court has failed to acknowledge the existence of the anti-Armenianism as a specific ideology prevalent amongst Turkish and Azeri nationalists, including those scattered in huge Turkish diasporas in Europe these days.

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