Turkey - Call for action against suspected masterminds of journalist's murder



    MONTREAL, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today
appealed to the government to act against those who ordered the 19 January
killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink as five people, some of them
extreme rightists, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder.
    "We are alarmed at the possible political implications of the case, whose
outcome is very important for Turkey's future," the worldwide press freedom
organisation said. "Those who carried out the murder must not be the only ones
to be punished. Many things point to them being supported by various prominent
groups and figures. The authorities must put a stop to these machinations," it
said.
    Five people were arrested yesterday in Trabzon and taken to Istanbul for
questioning, including the head of the Trabzon branch of the extreme-rightwing
Great Unity Party (BBP), Yasar Cihan, and a member of the branch committee,
Halis Egemen. Cihan was picked up after a photo was found of him with the BBP
leader and Erhan Tuncel, one of the suspected masterminds of the killing and
an police informer.
    An interior ministry report on the murder investigation by national
security chiefs which was leaked to the media accuses Istanbul police chief
Celalettin Cerrah of failing to protect editor Dink, who was shot dead outside
the offices of his weekly newspaper Agos, even though Trabzon police has
warned their Istanbul colleagues of a plot to kill Dink. The all-news TV
station NTV said Tuncel had warned Trabzon police 17 times about the plot
before they passed the message on to Istanbul. The record of the interrogation
of one of the suspects, Tuncay Uzundal, was also reportedly forged by Trabzon
police.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Canadian office representative,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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