Prior to Hrant Dink’s 2007 murder on the streets of Istanbul, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) repeatedly – but, ultimately, unsuccessfully – called on the U.S. government to condemn the political prosecution, persecution and threats directed against this courageous Armenian journalist for his “crime” of speaking honestly about the Armenian Genocide, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hambarian said in a statement.
His statement came after threats voiced against Armenian MP from the Kurdish Party Garo Paylan who spoke about the Armenian Genocide in Turkish parliament. The video published on Monday showed a scuffle that broke out in the Turkish parliament. Paylan struggled with his fists against the attacking Turkish MPs until his party members hurried for help.
Mr. Hambarian emphasized that American presidents like calling for a “full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts,” as long as they’re not the ones doing the acknowledging.
“It was Hrant – living under Erdogan’s dagger – who demonstrated the courage that U.S. leaders lacked,” he said.
“Despite all our efforts and the clear facts on the ground, the U.S. Department of State and The White House could not find their way to utter even one public word in his defense. One expression of concern. One word on his behalf. That is, until his death.
It was only after Hrant Dink was murdered in cold blood that the U.S. government found its voice, condemning a murder it did nothing to prevent.
Let us work to ensure that the same fate does not befall Garo Paylan – a truth teller and peace maker who deserves the support, not the silence, of the elected representatives of the American people.”