WASHINGTON, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) mourns the loss of Hrant Dink, a leading Istanbul-based Armenian journalist murdered outside the offices of his Agos newspaper today amid a growing tide of official Turkish government prosecutions and nationalist pressure to silence his writings on the Armenian Genocide.
"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government--through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
"Sadly, the Turkish government can continue denying the Armenian Genocide--against all evidence--in great measure due to the complicity of the U.S. Administration, which, at Turkey's urging, works against Congressional legislation commemorating this crime and has even nominated an Ambassador to Armenia, Dick Hoagland, who is on record denying that it was a genocide," he added. "Today's brutal murder serves as a wake up call to the United States and the entire international community to unite together in ending forever the Turkish government's denial of the Armenian Genocide."
Hrant Dink was featured prominently in the anti-genocide documentary film SCREAMERS, which was screened before an overflow Congressional audience on Capitol Hill this past Wednesday. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Save Darfur, the ANCA Endowment Fund, and The Raffy Manoukian Charity sponsored the screening, which features the Grammy award winning band "System of a Down's" international efforts to end the cycle of Genocide. To watch excerpts of SCREAMERS featuring and interview with Hrant Dink,visit: http://www.screamersmovie.com/movie_clips.asp
Last year, Dink was found guilty and given a suspended six-month sentence in Turkey for "insulting Turkishness," a violation of the Turkish Penal Code, for his statements affirming the Armenian Genocide.
In a CNN-International interview earlier today, Hamparian explained that Dink's murder was a terrible tragedy, but not entirely a surprise, in light of the environment of escalating intolerance intimidation created by the Turkish government against those who openly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has called on his House colleagues to join with him in praising Hrant Dink's courage in confronting the facts of the Armenian Genocide, and urging the Prime Minister of Turkey to repeal the law under which Dink was prosecuted.