Although an Istanbul court today convicted 27 defendants, mostly members of the state security forces or intelligence officials, for their role in Turkish newspaper editor Hrant Dink’s murder in 2007, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) insists that justice has not yet been fully rendered and says everyone connected with this crime must be tried in court. News News RSF_en TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses DisappearancesImpunityFreedom of expression March 26, 2021 Turkish journalist’s murder trial verdict “leaves bitter taste” News Receive email alerts This was the second time the ECHR has been asked to issue a ruling in connection with the murder. In September 2010, it ordered Turkey to pay 133,000 euros in compensation for failing to protect Dink’s right to life and for violating his right to freedom of expression. Four of the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment on a charge of “attempted subversion.” Eight others were sentenced to an average of seven years in prison for membership of the organisation led by Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Islamic scholar who allegedly masterminded the abortive coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Thirty-three other persons were acquitted and 16 were not included in the verdict (because the cases of 13 of them were separated from this trial, the charges were dropped against two others and one defendant died before start of the trial). The Dink family intends to appeal against today’s verdicts. to go further The defendants – mostly police officers but also other state apparatus officials based in Istanbul, Ankara and Trabzon – had been prosecuted for the past six years on a range of charges including “knowingly failing to take measures to protect” Dink, “abuse of office” and membership of the Gülen organisation. Turkey is ranked 154th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. A journalist and intellectual of Armenian origin, Dink was gunned down on an Istanbul street outside the office of Agos, the weekly newspaper he edited, on 19 January 2007. In 2019, Dink family lawyer Hakan Bakircioglu asked the European Court of Human Rights to examine a Turkish judicial decision not to prosecute 26 people regarded as responsible for smear and hate campaigns against Dink prior to his murder. Follow the news on Turkey April 2, 2021 Find out more “This long trial and these convictions must not give the impression that justice has finally been rendered,” said RSF Turkey representative Erol Önderoglu, who observed today’s trial hearing. “Some of those responsible for Hrant Dink’s murder, including the instigators, have still not been prosecuted. Some of the charges on which the defendants were convicted today also suggest that this trial was used to exact political revenge on Fethullah Gülen supporters who used to hold senior positions in the state apparatus. This partial justice rendered after 14 years leaves a bitter taste and, above all, must not signify the end of the search for the truth.” Help by sharing this information Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation News Certain senior officials linked to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and military high command were excluded from this investigation and trial. The court is supposed to subsequently address the cases of 13 defendants who are missing or cannot be located. They include Gülen himself, former anti-terrorism prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, who fled to Germany, and the journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan and Ekrem Dumanlı. Press point of “Friends of Hrant Dink” in front of the courthouse in Istanbul on the day of the verdict (c) Fatoş Erdogan April 28, 2021 Find out more Today, 27 of the 76 persons accused in connection with his murder were given prison sentences ranging from three years to life. Those convicted included former national police intelligence section chief Ramazan Akyürek and former intelligence department section chief Ali Fuat Yilmazer. April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses DisappearancesImpunityFreedom of expression Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Of the 76 persons accused of having at least some degree of involvement in Dink’s murder, seven were in preventive detention. This was the third trial in connection with the murder. At total of seven persons were given prison sentences at the end of the first two trials, including the shooter, Ogün Samast, who was 17 at the time, the person who planned the shooting, and police officers and other state officials.
By Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo March 20, 2017 On February 8th, the Argentine Space Agency (COAE, per its Spanish acronym) started a new radar monitoring operation to prevent drug trafficking and smuggling in the north of the country. The monitoring of all radars installed in Argentina is carried out from COAE, a unit of the Ministry of Defense charged with pooling all of the incoming data from the radar system deployed across the country. This event was attended by Minister of Defense Julio Martinez and Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich, as their ministerial portfolios are working in coordination to intensify efforts to maintain public safety and security. “This enables us to crack down on all of the illegal flights coming into our country, some of which drop drugs or land. So this action, which is being taken jointly with the Ministry of Defense, is a key way of protecting the citizens of Argentina, keeping drugs from entering by air, which is one of the avenues of drug crime,” said Minister Bullrich in a statement to the Ministry of Defense news bureau. Operation Defensa Operation Defensa (Defense) was designed as part of President Mauricio Macri’s government plan, Argentina without Drug Trafficking. Its main objective is to fight drugs and contraband by stepping up air, land, and river security in border areas through increased air surveillance using radar around the clock. To achieve this, not only have three new radar units been added, but new airplanes have also been procured and their flight hours increased. In addition, authorities have stepped up the Army’s presence in border zones, especially at crossings used by migrants in La Quiaca, in the province of Jujuy, and in Aguas Blancas and Profesor Salvador Maza, in the province of Salta. The northern border is the region with the most radar systems, allowing for greater surveillance of Argentine territory. Brigadier General Claudio Ernesto Pasqualini, who commands the Argentine Army’s 2nd Division known as “The Northern Army,” pointed out that “under the new administration, radars that were already installed, and new ones, changed over to 24-hour operation.” In previous years, the radars operated just a few hours a day, and there was less surveillance as a result. On February 3rd the Ministry of Defense and the provincial government of Formosa agreed to install new radar in the town of Pirané and to improve the operation of other radar installed in Ingeniero Juárez. All of the radar recently installed were manufactured by the Argentine company INVAP, which has close ties with state bodies such as the National Atomic Energy Commission and the National Commission on Space Activities. INVAP is the only company in Latin America to be certified by NASA. Drug trafficking, a regional threat “Our border with Bolivia is the most complicated area, where the highest level of organized crime is seen. It’s there that 25,000 tons of coca are produced each year and diverted to drug trafficking,” noted Carlos Alberto Ramírez, head of the General Directorate for International Defense Policy, a department under the Argentine Ministry of Defense. “It is estimated that there are seven cartels operating in our country already. They move drugs from the north of the country, from the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, and distribute them out of Buenos Aires and in our three-country border region with Brazil and Paraguay. New mobile checkpoints will also be set up since that’s a high-traffic zone, with over nine million people passing through each year.” Brig. Gen. Pasqualini said that since mid-2016, joint operations between military members, police officers, and gendarmerie agents have been conducted along the northern border. “Since the new administration took office, these operations have been resumed, and with them, the Army has once again become the main actor in the fight against organized crime. In the past, the involvement of our country’s main force had been suspended.” By law, Argentina forbids the military from taking part in public safety issues, including drug trafficking, smuggling, and terrorism. However, Minister Martínez and President Macri have repeatedly acknowledged the urgent need for the military to join in the war on drugs. “We consider it fundamental to join forces on an issue that so threatens society at large and the joint work done by the Armed Forces and security agents is an example of that,” Brig. Gen. Pasqualini concluded.