Thursday, 16 September 2010

Winners of international "Hrant Dink" award announced

Anniversary of Hrant Dink's murder in Istanbul, 19Jan2008 (c) Artur Papyan
On September 15 in Istanbul at the concert hall "Cemal Rasit Rey" the award ceremony of nominees of Hrant Dink International Award 2010 was held. The Award winners are: "Conscientious Objection Movement" Turkish anti-militarist organization and Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, the first national judge exercising the universal jurisdiction.

The Award winners are announced on the birthday of Hrant Dink, Chief Editor of "Agos" Armenian-Turkish newspaper, who was killed in Istanbul on January 19, 2007. The Award is granted to individuals, organizations and groups that work for a free and just world without discrimination, racism and violence, who take personal risks for achieving those ideals, who break the stereotypes by giving inspiration and hope to others. By means of this Award, the Hrant Dink Foundation aims to remind all those who struggle for these ideals that their voices are heard and they are not alone. In 2010 the awardees were determined by the Jury, which also involved Boris Navasardian, Yerevan Press Club President (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, April 30 - May 6, 2010).

It is also noteworthy that on the eve of announcing the nominees, on September 14, the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the suit of Hrant Dink and his family versus Turkey was released.

Following the pieces, published in 2003-2004, in which Hrant Dink expressed his views on the identity of Turkish citizens of Armenian origin, in 2006 he was found guilty of "denigrating Turkish identity" under Article 301 of the Criminal Code of Turkey. In 2007 he was killed at the entrance of "Agos" editorial office.

Under Article 2 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (right to life), the applicants alleged that Turkey failed to ensure the right of Hrant Dink to life and to conduct an effective investigation aimed at determining the responsibility of State agents (Article 13 of the European Convention on the right to effective remedy).

Under Article 10 of the European Convention (freedom of expression) the applicants complain the verdict against Hrant Dink, which, they claim, made him a target for extreme nationalist groups. On September 14 the European Court ruled that all three Articles had been violated.

It required that Turkey pays compensation to the wife and the children of Hrant Dink, amounting to 100,000 Euros, to his brother - a compensation of 5,000 Euros, as well as cover the plaintiff's litigation costs of 28,595 Euros.

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