International Leaders, Organizations Condmen Dink Murder

PARIS (Armenpress)–French President Jacques Chirac joined the European Union leader Ollie Rehn in condemning the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. In separate statemen’s the European leaders urged Turkey to curb its nationalist approaches. Armenian president Robert Kocharian and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukasian also issued separate condemnation statemen’s. The United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Monday condemned the killing of a Turkish editor in Istanbul, Turkey, last week. UNESCOs Director General Koichiro Matsuura condemned in a press release the killing of Hrant Dink, saying "Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and press freedom, its corollary, is a cornerstone of democracy and rule of law." He praised the Turkish authorities for the speed they had taken to investigate this case, noting that it is "proof of their determination not to let this heinous crime go unpunished." UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article one of its constitution calls on the organization to "further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world without distinction of race, sex, language or religion by the Charter of the UN. Meanwhile in Yerevan, a protest rally took place Monday at the central entrance of the Yerevan State University condemning the murder of the chief editor of "Agos" newspaper Hrant Dink. The rally was organized by ARF "Nikol Aghbalian" Students Union. Students from about 20 student boards, representatives of parties and NGOs moved from the YSU to the EU Armenian representation where they read the statement of the union in which they wrote that the terrible murder of Hrant Dink once again proved that in Turkey they do not even tolerate their own citizens who want to build democratic and legal state. "This anti-Armenian crime committed on the ethnic ground must sober up the entire civilized world and particularly EU and the states who view Turkey as a state of tolerance and freedoms," the statement said. "The murder of Hrant Dink is a signal to our more than 80,000 compatriots living in Turkey who are also being persecuted. If you remember the 1915 Armenian genocide started with the elimination of intellectuals," member of the Nikol Aghbalian Students Union Abraham Gasparian said. He also added that in such a situation it is senseless to speak about readiness of Turkey to start constructive dialogue with the Armenian people. The union is going to send letters in six languages with thousands of signatures to all the organizations of the world dealing with human rights affairs.

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