Thursday, January 24, 2008

U.S. Congressmen honored the memory of Hrant Dink


The Armenian Assembly of America commends Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Caucus Member Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) for calling on Turkey to honor the memory of journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink by repealing Article 301 of the Turkish penal code.

In separate remarks on the House floor yesterday, both lawmakers commemorated the first anniversary of Dink’s assassination on an Istanbul street in broad daylight on January 19, 2007. Before his murder, Dink was awaiting trial for allegedly violating Article 301 which outlaws "insulting Turkishness," for his writings on the Armenian Genocide.

Pallone noted that Turkey continues to persecute and incarcerate people for exercising their universal right of freedom of speech.

"Turkey uses intimidation to deny its citizens their right to freedom of expression," Pallone stated. "It lobbies for its so-called rightful role in the international community and a place in the European Union. Yet it does not live up to democratic principles and standards."

"We appreciate the efforts of Congressmen Pallone and Royce in bringing this important issue to the forefront of Congress," said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "It is vital that America demonstrates its commitment to human rights, and fundamental freedoms to the rest of the world."

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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