Armenian political leader condemns prosecution of Duke scholar

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Raffi Hovannisian, a prominent Armenian opposition politician, on Friday strongly condemned the arrest and prosecution of Turkish historian Yektan Turkyilmaz, a student at Duke University, saying that it is dealing a “powerful blow” to the long-running efforts at international recognition of the Armenian genocide.

He charged that by seeking to imprison Turkyilmaz on smuggling charges the Armenian authorities have exposed their “false patriotism” and serious problems with the rule of law in the country.

“It is hard to imagine a more powerful blow to international affirmation of the Armenian genocide than this trial,” Hovannisian told RFE/RL as he attended the second court hearing on the case in an apparent show of solidarity with the jailed scholar.

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