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Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code: the case of Ragip Zarakolu

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11663 | 25 June 2008

Mr Denis MacSHANE, United Kingdom ; Mr John AUSTIN, United Kingdom ; Mr Jaime BLANCO GARCÍA, Spain ; Ms Ana BLATNIK, Austria ; Ms Elvira CORTAJARENA ITURRIOZ, Spain ; Mr Michel DREYFUS-SCHMIDT, France ; Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Mr Nigel EVANS, United Kingdom ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Doug HENDERSON, United Kingdom ; Ms Sinikka HURSKAINEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Tadeusz IWIŃSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Albrecht KONEČNÝ, Austria, SOC ; Mr Pietro MARCENARO, Italy, SOC ; Ms Christine MUTTONEN, Austria ; Lord David RUSSELL-JOHNSTON, United Kingdom ; Mr Zoltán SZABÓ, Hungary ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Birutė VĖSAITĖ, Lithuania ; Mr Wolfgang WODARG, Germany ; Mr Blagoj ZAŠOV, ''The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia''
Referred to the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Members States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee), for information in the framework of its post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey: Reference No. 3476 (29th Sitting, 29 September 2008).

The Assembly notes with regret that in June 2008, the distinguished Turkish publisher, Ragip Zarakolu, was sentenced to a term in prison by a court in Turkey under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code; this followed the publication of a book by an English intellectual on the Armenian question.

The Assembly considers that the continuing use of Article 301 to attack freedom of expression in Turkey is in violation of Council of Europe and other international conventions and norms supporting freedom of expression.

The Assembly requests its relevant committee(s):

  • to send a fact-finding mission to Turkey to examine and report on the Zarakolu case;
  • to consider whether Turkey is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights by maintaining Article 301 in its Penal Code.