JOURNALIST FACES RETRIAL FOR INSULTING TURKISHNESS
Tatyana Margolin

JURIST , Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School
May 2 2006

[JURIST Europe] A Turkish appeals court has rejected a prosecutor's
recommendation and has ruled that charges still stand against Hrant
Dink, a high-profile Turkish-Armenian journalist and editor of the
newspaper Agos [media website] who has written about the killings
of an estimated million Ottoman Armenians [ANI backgrounder] in the
early 20th century. Accused of publicly denigrating or insulting
Turkishness under controversial Article 301 [Amnesty International
backgrounder] of the Turkish Penal Code, Dink was given a six-months
suspended sentence [JURIST report] last October, but in February the
chief prosecutor of the Appeals Court ruled that his remarks were in
no way offensive. The new court determination sends the case back to
the local court where it may be reheard.

Article 301 reads: 1. Public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic
or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be punishable by
imprisonment of between six months and three years.

2. Public denigration of the Government of the Republic of Turkey,
the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security
structures shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months
and two years.

3. In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a
Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased
by one third.

4. Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute
a crime.

Dink's case, along with several others [JURIST news archive; JURIST
report] that deal with freedom of speech in Turkey, is being closely
monitored by the EU. Turkey is eager to join the EU and has committed
to a series of reforms, yet speech that can be interpreted as an
insult to the Turkish identity, the military and the judiciary is still
illegal. BBC News has more. From Istanbul, Hurriyet has local coverage.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting
European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in
the UK.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2006/05 /journalist-faces-retrial-for-insulting.php

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress