Human Rights Court Accepts Dink’s Appeal

STRASBOURG (Combined Sources)–The European Court of Human Rights Thursday approved an appeal by the late Agos editor Hrant Dink, who had appealed the court to overturn his sentence handed down by a Turkish court for insutling "Turkishness." Dink was given a six-month suspended sentence for violating the infamous Article 301, for his remarks regarding the Armenian Genocide. The European Court of Human Rights determined that Dink’s appeal met with four provisions of the Human Rights Act and was thus ready to hear Dink’s appeal. Given his death, the Court appealed to Dink’s family to purusue the matter. A European rights watchdog urged Ankara on Thursday to change a law that many Turks say fuels hardline nationalism and contributed to Dink’s murder. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said Turkey should scrap article 301 of its penal code which makes it a crime to insult Turkey’s identity, state institutions and security forces. "The existence of this measure, which judicially limits freedom of expression, only validates legal and other attacks against journalists," a resolution passed by the assembly said. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday he supported changes to the law. The European Union has also called on Turkey, an EU candidate, to abrogate the law. Dink, like dozens of other Turkish intellectuals, had been prosecuted under article 301 for his writings on the massacres of Armenia’s by Ottoman Turks during World War One–a highly sensitive issue in Turkey. Dink’s murder shocked the country and brought more than 100,000 people onto the streets of Istanbul on Tuesday. His death has put the ruling AK Party again on the defensive over article 301. Analysts say the government is dragging its feet despite repeated promises because the AK Party does not want to look soft amid a rise in nationalism during an election year.

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