BERN, (AFP) - A Swiss court is set to hear Tuesday a test case seeking recognition that the 1915-1917 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide.
Seventeen people face trial on charges of racial discrimination on a complaint filed by the Armenia-Switzerland Association (ASA). Members of Turkish associations, they were accused of having "denied, minimized or sought to justify" the killings, in statements in a petition sent to parliament.
The charges have previously been used only in cases related to
the World War II massacre of European Jews.
The case was the latest attempt by the ASA to get Switzerland to accept that the deaths of 500,000 to 1.5 million Armenians during the waning years of the Ottoman Empire amounted to genocide. The Turkish embassy said it would monitor the proceedings, adding that it considered the statements to be covered under Swiss laws on freedom of speech. Turkey rejects the term "genocide."