"FRIENDS OF HRANT": "SAMAST'S CONVICTION IS NOT ENOUGH"

BIAnet.org
July 29, 2011
Turkey

The Friends of Hrant Group gathered before the 19th hearing of the
Hrant Dink murder trial in Istanbul on 29 July. The group emphasized
that justice has not been delivered yet with the conviction of
Ogun Samast.

Nilay VARDAR [email protected] Istanbul - BİA News Center29 July
2011, Friday The 19th hearing of the Hrant Dink murder trial is being
heard at the Besiktas (Istanbul) Courthouse today (29 July). Dink,
a Turkish journalist of Armenian ethnic origin, was killed in front
of the Agos newspaper office in Sisli/Istanbul on 19 January 2007.

Erhan Tuncel and Yasin Hayal are detained defendants of the case
that is observed by representatives of the Paris Bar Association and
Claudia Roth, Co-Chair of the German Green Party and member of the
European Union (EU) Greens.

Just like before every hearing of the trial, the Friends of Hrant
Group gathered at the Besiktas Pier prior to the hearing this morning.

One group of the Friends of Hrant met in front of the Dolmabahce
Palace to join the group in Besiktas later, among them the wife of
the slain journalist, Rakel Dink, MPs Ertugrul Kurkcu, Sırrı Sureyya
Onder and Osman Kavala, journalist Hakan Tahmaz, Bulent Aydın, human
rights activist Zeynep Tanbay, Agos newspaper executive Robert Koptas,
politician Sema Solaklı, lawyer Turgut Kazan, Assoc. Prof. Ferdan
Ergut and Masis Kurkcugil. They were carrying banners reading "We
will not forget", "For Hrant, for justice" and "We will not forgive".

The group members were also carrying the small round black and white
signs that became characteristic for the struggle for justice related
to the Dink trial. The sings featured slogans like "This trial will
not end like that", "Fascists strike, the AKP protect" or "Long live
the brotherhood between the Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian people".

'We will not let go of the people behind Samast' A press release
on behalf of the Friends of Hrant was read out by Metin Eray. He
said that the ones who believed that justice was delivered with the
conviction of triggerman Ogun Samast were mistaken.

Eray announced that they would not let go of the "big brothers"
who masterminded the murder.

"In the darkness of unanswered questions our sense of justice is
broken and our anger is growing constantly. But nobody should forget;
this trial is not going to end that way! The ones who said that justice
was delivered with the sentencing of Ogun Samast have to bear in mind
that we will not let go of the "big brothers" who masterminded this
issue. They are mistaken!"

"Who was under investigation until today?

Eray reminded that none of the persons responsible for the killing
of Dink is on trial and that the court did not come anywhere near to
the conviction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

"The Ministry of the Interior did not issue permission for an
investigation about the police officers from the Istanbul Police who
were responsible. And is there anybody who interrogated Celalettin
Cerrah [then Chief of the Istanbul Police]? Istanbul Governor Guler
hid behind his deputyship but he will have to face the truth sooner
or later".

"Why don't we hear anything from the State Auditing Commission
appointed by the President? Eventually, the Prime Ministry gave their
permission for investigating the MİT [National Intelligence Agency]!

Who is under investigation?"

Eran pointed out that the ones who thought that the Hrant Dink case
was going to disappear in the "memory dump" like other trials were
mistaken. He declared that they would continuously follow up the
procedures.

"ECHR recommendations must be followed" The group went to meet the
others at the Be~_ikta~_ Pier subsequent to the statement. There,
Olivier Guilbaud, Member of the Paris Bar Association Steering Board,
stressed again that justice has not been delivered yet with the
conviction of Ogun Samast. Only with the prosecution of all the people
responsible for the murder justice could be delivered, he said. "The
entire number of recommendations made by the European Court of Human
Rights must be followed. We will follow up this case until the end",
Guilbaud declared.