WASHINGTON—Citizens concerned about the safety of Garo Paylan, a member of the Turkish Parliament who has come under violent attack due to his Armenian identity and the free expression of his views, can now call upon the State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch to speak out in his defense, using the Armenian National Committee of America’s dedicated portal: www.anca.org/Paylan.
Videos of attacks on Mr. Paylan, in the Turkish Parliament and Constitutional Commission, have gone viral, and have been featured on major media outlets.With one click, advocates can write to Tom Malinowski, State Department Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Ken Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch; and Margaret Huang, Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International – USA. In their letters addressed to these three officials, supporters of Garo Paylan’s safety call for “public alarms” to be raised over the escalating threats and acts of violence directed against him. The letters specifically call for a forthright condemnation of those who seek to intimidate and incite hatred against Paylan.
Earlier this week, the ANCA called upon U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass to publicly voice official U.S. concern regarding the safety of Garo Paylan. In the May 3rd letter, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian compared Paylan’s persecution to that of noted Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was gunned down in broad daylight in 2007. “Prior to his [Dink’s] cold-blooded murder, the ANCA had called for an open expression of U.S. concern for his safety. Sadly, none was forthcoming. The only public words raised in his defense were those eulogizing him after his death,” noted Hamparian.