Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Joseph Crowley calls on Ankara to repeal article 301
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) urged Congress to honor the memory of slain journalist and human rights activist, Hrant Dink, by supporting the immediate repeal of Article 301 of the Turkish penal code.The much-criticized law used to curb freedom of speech and criminalize public discussion on the Armenian Genocide is widely believed to have led to Dink’s assassination in broad daylight on an Istanbul street on January 19, 2007."Many informed observers believe Hrant Dink’s prosecution under Article 301 opened him up to a campaign of harassment and death threats from ultranationalists, which eventually led to his murder," said Crowley. "To this day, citizens of Turkey live under threat of this gag law, with Hrant Dink’s own son prosecuted under this law because he reprinted his father’s newspaper article." "This is not the action of a true democracy," he continued. "It is reflective of how a totalitarian state would behave, and this is not the Turkey we, the United States of America, have aligned our country with.""With no demonstrable steps taken to abolish Article 301 a year after Hrant Dink’s murder, it is clear that Armenians and other minorities are still at risk in Turkey," said Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of America. "We therefore commend Congressman Crowley for spearheading this legislation and urge its timely adoption. Passage of H. Res. 102 will pay lasting tribute to Dink’s legacy of tolerance and send a clear message that the United States does not stand for repression of free speech."