WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the 14th anniversary of journalist Hrant Dink’s assassination, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) commemorates his life as an advocate for human rights and justice, as well as speaking truth to power. As the Editor-in-Chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian daily newspaper Agos, Dink played an influential role in creating greater awareness of Armenian issues in Turkey, where he emerged as a leader and intellectual in the community.
Dink was charged with “insulting Turkishness” under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for speaking the truth about the Armenian Genocide. Consequently, he was regularly censored and faced multiple trials by the state. He also became the target of death threats from Turkish nationalists. Nevertheless, he continued in his mission to bring equality to minorities in Turkey. Dink’s prolific life was cut short when he was murdered outside of his office on January 19, 2007, unleashing protests and demonstrations over his unjust assassination. Over 100,000 people attended his funeral, where mourners shouted in unison: “We are all Hrant Dink” and “We are all Armenians.”
“Hrant Dink’s legacy lives on throughout the Armenian diaspora and within Congress, wherein the Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted legislation spearheaded by then Committee Chairman Joe Biden, condemning his murder and commemorating his life,” said Bryan Ardouny, Assembly Executive Director. “His fearlessness and refusal to be silenced by the authorities in Turkey allowed for more dialogue to emerge in a country that has long stifled freedom of speech. Today we remember and honor Hrant Dink’s life and his contributions towards universal human rights.”
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.