Turkish historian challenges Turkey's Article 301

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Professor Taner Akcam, a Turkish scholar and Visiting Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, filed an application before the European Court of Human Rights against the
Republic of Turkey, independent correspondent Jean Eckian informs.

The complaint is based on the criminal investigation launched against him earlier this year under Turkish Penal Code Article 301, for
insulting "Turkishness" by having publicly used the term "genocide" to describe the mass murder of Armenians in 1915.

Despite its changed wording over time, Article 301 remains prominent among the many enduring obstacles in Turkey´s path to membership of
the European Union. The same law has in recent years been the basis for the prosecution of other leading Turkish intellectuals, writers, journalists and academics on similar grounds. The most notable victims of Article 301 include Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, recently assassinated Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and publisher Fatih Tas.

The Court, based in Strasbourg, France, enforces the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It rules over private individuals´ complaints against human rights violations committed by signatory States. Turkey signed the Convention in 1954.

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