US, World Community Condemn Murder of Journalist Hrant Dink

"The United States and the world community say the assassination of independent Turkish journalist Hrant Dink strikes a blow against freedom of expression," wrote Eric Green a USINFO staff writer in a recent article entitled, "Killing of Turkish editor termed assault on free expression." The same article quoted Julie Finley, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as saying that the assassination of an independent-minded journalist like Dink is "an assault that is felt by all." Green reported that in an interview with Mehmet Ali Birand of the Turkish television station Kanal D January 19, Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns called Dink’s murder "an outrageous act of criminality."We look forward to see Turkish justice and we look forward to see these killers brought to justice," he said. The Paris-based press freedom advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, said Dink’s murder "will distress and disturb all those who defend the freedom of thought and expression in Turkey and elsewhere." Dink’s murder follows a report by Reporters Without Borders that more journalists were killed around the world in 2006 than in any year since 1994. At least 81 journalists were killed in 21 countries while doing their jobs in 2006. (See related article.) Another press freedom group, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said 18 Turkish journalists have been killed for their work in the last 15 years, making Turkey the eighth deadliest country in the world for journalists. The CPJ said in a January 19 statement that Dink had received numerous death threats from nationalist Turks who objected to his views.

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