Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Victory for Hrant at the European Court

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found Turkey to have violated numerous human rights both before and after the assassination of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Dink was assassinated in January 2007 and the investigation that has followed has been tainted by a series of cover-ups and serious judicial mishandling. (For background, click here).

The Court found Turkey to have failed to protect Dink's right to life and freedom of expression, as well as to have fallen short of its obligations to provide for an effective investigation of his murder. In the weeks, months, and years after Dink's murder, numerous high-ranking state security officials and police have been implicated as either falling far short of their duties to protect Dink, at best, and at worst, actively conspiring with Dink's murderers.

During its defense at the ECHR, Turkey argued that Dink did not fear for his life or else would have asked for private police protection. A recent book by journalist Nedim Sener, who this year escaped criminal charges brought against him in relation to a book he published revealing details of the Dink murder and subsequent cover-up, alleges that security officials warned Dink of threats to his life before the assassination. Security officials have denied such knowledge.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said it will not appeal the court's decision. It is yet to be seen whether Turkey will provide for a remedy to its previous failure to effectively investigate Dink's assassination.

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