Region 12:08 26/10/2011

ECHR rules in favor of Armenian Genocide scholar Taner Akcam

  Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Turkish government's prosecution under Article 301 of its penal code with respect to Dr. Taner Akçam's public views on the Armenian Genocide violated Akçam's right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

Dr. Akçam, the holder of the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair for the Study of Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, became the target of threats and harassment for expressing his views and publishing his findings on the Armenian Genocide. A close friend to the late Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist assassinated in January 2007, Dr. Akçam knew all too well the dangers of speaking about this taboo subject in Turkey. Before he was gunned down in broad daylight, Hrant Dink was also prosecuted under Article 301. The Court acknowledges this connection and in its decision notes "it was widely believed that Hrant Dink had been targeted by extremists because of the stigma attached to his criminal conviction for 'insulting Turkishness.'"

Responding to public horror and international condemnation upon Dink's demise, the Armenian Assembly worked with then-Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden (D-DE) who spearheaded legislation calling upon Turkey to repeal Article 301. At that time, Senator Biden stated that "Hrant Dink was a leading voice in Turkey's Armenian community and an eloquent advocate for human rights, press freedom, and democracy." Chairman Biden also told the Assembly that "his assassination was an outrage and a tragedy. Hrant's legacy deserves the Senate's respect. His murder demands our action."

In its verdict today, the Court honors Dink's legacy in its conclusion that "the criminal investigation commenced against the applicant [Taner Akçam] and the standpoint of the Turkish criminal courts on the Armenian issue in their application of Article 301 of the Criminal Code, as well as the public campaign against the applicant in respect of the investigation, confirm that there exists a considerable risk of prosecution faced by persons who express 'unfavourable' opinions on this matter and indicates that the threat hanging over the applicant is real."

The Court further concluded that changes to Article 301 and the replacement of the term "Turkishness" by the words "the Turkish Nation" made "no change or major difference in the interpretation of these concepts because they have been understood in the same manner by the Court of Cassation...[in other words it] does not introduce a substantial change or contribute to the widening of protection of the right to freedom of expression."

Welcoming the court's decision, Dr. Akçam commented that "Turkey should learn that facing history and coming to terms with past human rights abuses is not a crime but a prerequisite for peace and reconciliation in the region. I consider myself as a part of Turkish civil society, which fights for a truly free and democratic Turkey. This cannot happen if Turkey continues to criminalize discussion of the Armenian Genocide." He added: "You cannot achieve reconciliation and peace with Armenia with the existence of this kind of poisonous law or continue to deny diplomatic relations."



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:28
Armenia weather: Temperature to rise by 3-4 degrees in coming days
No precipitation is predicted in the territory of Armenia on October 18-22, Armenian State Hydrometeorological and Monitoring Service at the...
20:17
Deputy FM: Mamedov’s remarks once again testify to what hinders Karabakh settlement process
Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Shavarsh Kocharyan has commented on the recent remarks by Novruz Mammadov, an assistant to Azerbaijani...
20:00
15 road traffic accidents recorded in Armenia over past day: police
According to the operations reports of Police of the Republic of Armenia, 12 out of 15 cases of infliction of bodily injuries registered in the...
19:31
Masoud Barzani likely to step down as Iraqi Kurdistan President, Armenian expert says
The media outlets operating under Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the representatives of which actively cover the current...
19:00
Armenian FM to leave for Brussels
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian is due to pay a visit to Brussels on October 18-19 to take part in the 4th European Armenian...
18:51
Modern Diplomacy: Why Azerbaijan is unable to offer viable solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Author of articles David Davidian, an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Armenia, has touched upon the issues due to which...
18:19
Young Armenian boxers to compete at European Championships
Young Armenia boxers are preparing for the European Youth Boxing Championships for U18 age group scheduled for Antalya, Turkey on 20-29 October....
17:47
Serj Tankian attends rehearsal of his Orca symphony in Armenia
On the sidelines of the 5th Aram Khachaturian International Festival, the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, headed by conductor Sergey Smbatyan,...
16:59
602 domestic violence cases recorded in Armenia within nine months – official
602 cases of domestic abuse have been recorded in Armenia within nine months of 2017, with criminal cases launched into 142 of them, an Armenian...
16:13
Investigative journalist exposing Malta’s prime minister offshore dealings with Azerbaijan killed in a car bomb
A prominent journalist who played a major role in the Panama Papers case has been killed in Malta, The Associated Press reported. ...
16:12
The Armenia-EU agreement to ensure continuity in partnership - Natalia Voutova
The Council of Europe in Armenian and the European Union presented on Tuesday the results of projects in the judicial reform, law-enforcement...
16:05
Stepantsminda-Lars highway closed for heavy trucks
The Roads Department of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia informed Armenia’s Ministry of Transport,...
14:17
The 12th edition of Japanese Film Festival kicks off in Armenia
The 12th Japanese film festival will be held in Armenia from October 19-23 this year devoted to the 25th anniversary of establishment of...
13:43
No party interested in changing the status quo around Karabakh at this stage, the political analyst insists
“There is no issue of changing the status quo in the Karabakh conflict, instead a growing demand for formation of a certain political...
13:30
Istanbul street to be named after Armenian-Turkish photojournalist Ara Guler
The municipality of Istanbul adopted a decision to name Toshabag street in Beyoglu district after the renowned Armenian-Turkish photojournalist,...
12:30
National Assembly Speaker Ara Babloyan to head for Warsaw
The Armenian parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker of the National Assembly Ara Babloyan will pay official visit to the Republic of Poland...
12:29
Austria's next chancellor a 31-year-old conservative
Sebastian Kurz, a 31-year-old conservative, is set to become the next chancellor of Austria and Europe's youngest leader, though he will...
11:44
U.N. welcomes the Armenian-Azerbaijani presidential summit
“The Secretary-General welcomes the summit held on 16 October in Geneva, Switzerland, between the President of the Republic of Armenia,...
20:30
Death toll soars to 31 in Portugal and Spain wildfires
A spate of wildfires in central and north Portugal which started at the weekend has killed at least 31 people, civil defence authorities say,...
20:16
Trump: I hope Clinton runs in 2020
U.S. President Trump said Monday that he hopes former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton runs again in the 2020 election, according...
20:00
Armenian national football team to play two friendlies
The Armenian national football team will hold a friendly match with the Belarus national team on November 9. The Armenian team will face...
19:52
New entry period for United States 2019 Diversity Visa Program announced
Due to technical issues, the registration period for the 2019 Diversity Visa Program is being restarted, and all entries made prior to October...
18:59
Artsakh foreign ministry comments on Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting
The Information and Public Relations Department of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has issued its comments on...
18:23
Armenian football team loses seven spots in FIFA rankings
FIFA announced the updated ranking for national football teams on Monday, with the Armenian team losing seven spots to hold the 90th position...
18:07
Explosion in southeast Turkey kills two soldiers: CNN Turk
Two Turkish soldiers were killed on Monday in the southeastern province of Hakkari after an improvised explosive device detonated, Reuters...
17:55
Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting took place in constructive atmosphere: statement
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers have released a joint statement following today’s...
17:28
Armenian parliament speaker meets with heads of parliaments of Slovakia, Egypt and Benin
On the sidelines of his visit to Saint Petersburg, Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly (NA), Ara Babloyan on Sunday met with the Speaker...
16:41
Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting over in Geneva
The meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders is over in Geneva, a spokesman for the Armenian president said in a tweet....
16:12
World oil prices up
As a result of e-commerce in London and New York stock exchanges, the world oil prices are rising, Gazeta.ru reports. According to the...
16:01
U.S. Embassy joins Ministry of Health to open regional disease prevention labs
The U.S. Embassy to Armenia joins the Armenian Ministry of Health to open regional disease prevention labs, the press service of the embassy...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}