On fifth anniversary of Dink murder, OSCE media freedom representative calls for justice for all killed journalists in the OSCE region
VIENNA, 19 January 2012 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, said today on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the murder of prominent Turkish journalist Hrant Dink that OSCE participating States must do more to protect journalists and punish their assailants.
Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish language weekly Agos, was shot dead on this day in 2007 in front of its Istanbul offices. Two days ago a criminal court in Istanbul sentenced one man for involvement but acquitted 18 other defendants of charges of acting on the orders of a terrorist organization.
“As the recent court verdict shows, even five years after Dink’s murder justice has still not been done. If the instigators of violence against journalists are not punished it sends a chilling message to society that such crimes are tolerated,” said Mijatović.
“Governments have a duty not only to condemn violence against journalists loudly and resolutely, but also to ensure that these crimes are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Journalists must feel protected when they report on issues that affect all our lives.”
Mijatović also noted the statements by the Turkish political leadership on this issue, including President Abdullah Gül and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who said that the decision was unsatisfactory to the people and that the ruling could be appealed.
“During my visit last December, the authorities assured me that the media freedom situation in Turkey will improve soon. I look forward to continuing working with them on all issues related to media freedom,” the Representative said.
“I continue to monitor the case of Hrant Dink and I also continue to follow all cases in OSCE countries where journalists were killed in relation to their work,” she said. “In too many cases justice has still not been delivered after many years of investigation. The families, friends and colleagues of these journalists, as well as the societies as a whole, deserve to know the truth.”