Monday, June 11, 2007

Amnesty Campaign on Free Speech in Turkey

Amnesty International are running a campaign to abolish Article 301 of the Turkish penal code. Please lend you support:

People in Turkey are being persecuted simply for expressing their opinion peacefully

In January Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist and human rights defender, was shot dead outside his offices. He was killed for his words - words that were thought to be a threat to the Turkish state.

Following his claim to be an Armenian from Turkey, Dink was accused of 'denigrating Turkishness' - illegal under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code. This triggered a hate campaign in the nationalist Turkish media which led to repeated death threats against him and his family.

Dink dedicated his life to democracy, mutual respect and freedom of expression and was persecuted for these convictions. Ultimately murdered. His assassination shows all too tragically the danger of Article 301. In contradiction to Turkey's international obligation to protect freedom of expression, 301 is now being used by ultra-nationalists to repress ideas and opinions and to persecute the people who hold them.

Article 301 must be abolished

At present, a number of Turkish writers, journalists, publishers, artists and human rights defenders are facing charges under 301. Most of them have been subjected to threats and intimidation.

Those of us who can must speak up in their defence

By making a donation today, you will be helping Amnesty keep up vital pressure on the Turkish authorities to end this violation of a fundamental human right.

Please make a donation to this campaign today

To donate, please click here.