Turkey - Murdered journalist's family want proof of government's intention to punish all those responsible

    MONTREAL, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The family of newspaper editor Hrant
Dink are calling for action over police incompetence in the enquiry into his
19 January murder in Istanbul, despite the speedy arrest of the suspected
    Reporters Without Borders today backed lawyers for the family of
Hrant Dink, the murdered Turkish-Armenian editor of the weekly newspaper Agos,
in a call to the Istanbul chief prosecutor to punish all those who failed to
act on information that could have prevented Dink's murder in Istanbul on
19 January.
    Lawyer Fethiye Cetin said in the 15 March request that at least
17 messages warning of a plot to kill the journalist had been sent to Istanbul
police by police in Trabzon, where many of the suspects live. The lawyers also
demanded that all legal procedures in the case be transferred to an Istanbul
    Reporters Without Borders said it expected "action against police who
displayed disgraceful negligence in the murder of Dink and some of whom showed
sympathy for the suspected killer. However, the authorities have hardly been
convincing in their condemnation of the murder."
    Cetin and his colleague Bahri Bayram Belen told the media that the murder
could not have been an isolated act only involving people in the Pelitli
neighbourhood of Trabzon. The numerous attacks by ultra-nationalist groups
since a bomb blast at a McDonald's restaurant in Trabzon in 2004 have
continued since Dink's death, they said, suggesting that a "terrorist group
threatening the democratic rule of law" was responsible.
    Cetin demanded to know what had become of official legal action begun
against police in Samsun, the town where the suspected killer, Ogun Samast,
was arrested and where police officers had taken "souvenir" photos of
themselves with Samast.
    Reporters Without Borders said the government had shown "little evidence
of its intention to put an end to ultra-nationalist violence" and "repeated
threats to journalists and intellectuals discussing the 1915 massacres of
Armenians and the Kurdish question."

    Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press
freedom throughout the world. It has nine national sections (Austria, Belgium,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). It has
representatives in Bangkok, London, New York, Tokyo and Washington. And it has
more than 120 correspondents worldwide.

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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