Turkish Court Begins Trial of Armenian Journalists

ISTANBUL (Reuters)–A Turkish state security court Friday began the trial of two ethnic Armenian journalists on charges of sedition–state-run Anatolian news agency said.

It said Diran Bakar–editor of the weekly "Agos" newspaper–and reporter Yervant Ozuzun were charged with "inciting hatred" for an article in the Armenian and Turkish language publication criticizing a 1942 Wealth Tax.

The tax–which was repealed after two years–imposed a heavy burden on Turkey’s non-Moslem minorities leading many of them to go bankrupt or emigrate.

The two men were charged under Article 312 of the penal code which carries a sentence of between one and three years.

The law is often used to prosecute Kurdish and Islamist activists and has been criticized by human rights campaigners for jailing people for what they say or write. Editors are also held responsible for the contents of a publication.

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