Dutch court strictly punishes author of statement “Karabakh is going to be the cemetery of the Armenians”

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On March 17, a Dutch court announced the verdict against President of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Cultural Association in The Hague Ilham Ashkin, who has made a call for mass violence against Armenians in Holland and has expressed the statement “Karabakh is going to be the cemetery of the Armenians”.

As Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of the Netherlands Massis Abrahamian stated in an interview with Hayern Aysor, the court sentenced Ilham Ashkin to 120 hours of compulsory labor and a month in prison with a conditional period of two years, meaning that if Ashkin makes the same mistake, he will definitely serve his punishment.

“The court set a stricter punishment than the prosecutor’s office had required, that is, 80 hours of compulsory labor and conditional two weeks in prison. This is more than we could have expected. The court probably took into consideration the fact that Ashkin had declared in court a couple of times that he didn’t regret committing the act during the trial,” Massis Abrahamian said in an interview with Hayern Aysor and added that the ruling of the Dutch court is in effect and that, from now on, anyone can be sentenced to prison for making such a statement.

“This court ruling can set an example for Armenians living in countries where there is rule of law. They can follow to make sure the authors of such calls and statements don’t go unpunished and are brought to justice. With such victories, we Armenians can achieve our ultimate goal, that is, recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and recognition of the Artsakh Republic. All this goes to show that the struggle for the Armenian Cause is a daily and ongoing struggle,” Massis Abrahamian said.

Let us also mention that member of the Armenian National Committee of the Netherlands Massis Poghosian and President of the Federation of Armenian Organizations of the Netherlands (FAON) Mato Hakhverdian were also attending the announcement of the verdict.

On 1 June 2014, a rally against the Armenian Genocide Memorial placed in the area near the Armenian Apostolic Church of Almelo was held in Almelo, and most of the participants were Turks. During the rally, President of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Cultural Association in The Hague Ilham Ashkin had declared that “Karabakh is going to be the cemetery of the Armenians”.

 The Armenian Organizations of Holland, particularly the Federation of Armenian Organizations of the Netherlands (FAON) and the Armenian National Committee of the Netherlands had filed an appeal against the anti-Armenian statements that had been made during the rally.

On 3 March, the trial of President of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Cultural Association in The Hague Ilham Ashkin was held in Almelo.

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From the left: Mato Hakhverdian, from the right: lawyer for the Armenian party Richard Corver, second from the right: Massis Abrahamian