Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bryan Ardouny: article 301 has become a painful reminder of open wounds of genocide


Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), addressed a letter to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to appreciate publication of "Freer Speech" editorial dedicated to the problem of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.

"We commend you for your Jan. 29 editorial ("Freer Speech") highlighting Turkey's continued and inexplicable use of Article 301 to indict citizens for openly discussing the Armenian Genocide.

"Turkey is the only country in the world where speaking the truth about the Armenian Genocide is regarded a prosecutable offense. For simply mentioning the atrocities, Hrant Dink was hauled to court and convicted in 2005. His life was ultimately taken by forces determined to squash public discussion of this fact of world history.

"Sadly, one year after Mr. Dink's assassination, Ankara has yet to overturn the climate of intolerance, prejudice and repression which led to this unspeakable crime. Instead, Mr. Dink's son, Arat Dink, was recently convicted under this much-criticized law for referencing the Armenian Genocide.

"Article 301 has become a painful reminder of the open wounds of genocide and its denial. It is time for Turkey to provide more than just lip-service and get to the business of reforming its laws and stop its ongoing campaign of denial," Mr Ardouny whote in his letter.

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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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