Turkish editor gets six month jail sentence for insulting state with Armenian genocide comments

[JURIST] A Turkish court Friday sentenced the editor of Agos [media website, English version], a weekly bilingual Turkish and Armenian-language newspaper, to six months in prison for "insulting and weakening Turkish identity in the media" in several articles he published last year. Hrant Dink's sentence was suspended and he will not actually have to serve time in jail unless he repeats the offense. Dink said he would appeal the decision, even vowing to go to the European Court of Human Rights [official website] if necessary. Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk [Time Magazine profile] faces a similar charge to be decided later this year; prosecutors say that he slandered the country by saying the mass killings of Armenians 90 years ago was genocide, which Turkey denies. Turkey [JURIST news archive] earlier this year revised its penal code [JURIST report], at the European Union's urging, but a law making it an offense to slander the country or publicly argue against the "official position" still stands. The court ruling came just three days after Turkey began negotiations to join the EU [JURIST report], and the EU's enlargement commissioner said earlier this week that the country has to improve its human rights record. The Financial Times has more.

 

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