No: 373, 28 December 2019, Press Release Regarding The Decision To Grant Parole To Hampig Sassounian Who Assasinated Consul-general Of Turkey In Los Angeles, Mr. Kemal Arıkan

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 28.12.2019

We regret that Hampig Sassounian, the terrorist who assassinated Mr. Kemal Arıkan, the Turkish Consul-General in a heinous attack on January 28, 1982, has been granted parole during the hearing held in California on December 27, 2019 despite our attempts. We strongly condemn and reject this decision which is subject to the approval of the Governor of California and is open to appeal.

This decision paving the way for the release of the murderer of our martyred diplomat is not only against universal principles of law and justice, but also contradicts the spirit of cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Sassounian has not shown any remorse throughout his incarceration for the crime he deliberately planned and committed, which was based on a distorted ideology fostered by animosity against Turks. It was not a simple murder, but a hate crime and a terrorist act.

Turkey, which has lost 58 lives as victims of Armenian terrorism, 31 of which were diplomats, will resort to all legal means to prevent the entry into effect of this troubling decision, which would establish an extremely dangerous precedent at a time when the need for international solidarity is at its height in response to the re-escalation of hate crimes. In this regard, the biggest share of responsibility falls upon the US authorities, who also suffered from similar losses.

We once again remember with respect and gratitude our martyred diplomat Kemal Arıkan and all our martyres who fell victim to terrorism.

Hakkı Emre Yunt Ambassador
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