Remembrance of Genocide a Punishable Matter

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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Agos) – The former president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, Ahmet Ozmen, and all the members of the former executive board, are being tried in their official capacity for pronouncements made during the days of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The lawyers on November 18 rejected the charges directed at them, insisting that the events of 1915 were a genocide and they have adopted the principle of calling what happened by its name.

The attorneys who are members of the board of the Bar Association have been charged under the infamous Article 301, which relates to “insulting Turkishness.” To initiate a case under that article, it is necessary to have the special permission of the Minister of Justice.

Attorney Ozmen indicated to press representatives that the authorization for this litigation is in complete contradiction to the plan for judicial amendments published two days ago by the Minister of Justice.

Ozmen also mentioned that they are not being tried individually, but as an institution (the Diyarbakir Bar Association). The date for the trial has been set for February 17, 2021.

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