In the Call of Duty

One of the things we do at the Voice is take a lot of things seriously, and one of those things is press freedom. You may recall last Spring we recognized Jihad Momani, a Jordanian newspaper editor who courageously stood up to censorship, and was punished for it, during the controversy surrounding the publication of Danish political cartoons featuring Muhammed, the Prohpet of Islam.

Today is another sad day in that vein. Yesterday, Hrant Dink, the editor of a bi-lingual Armenian-Turkish newspaper, was gunned down in the street outside of his publication’s office. Dink had been known for refusing to deny the Armenian genocide, and at the same time opposed those Armenians who demanded that Turkey recognize the genocide before it enters into the EU. Dink was also prosecuted and convicted by the Turkish government for making remarks against the Turkish state and identity. He had recieved repeated death threats from those who opposed his ideas.

Dink was a courageous journalist and an iconoclastic intellectual. It’s easy to forget here in the States that journalism is a dangerous job, but people like Dink and Momani remind us of the importance of free thought and speech, and the price that must be paid to earn it. One hopes that this will be a catalyst for more freedom and Turkey–and with people on all sides of the issues there condemning the killing, maybe it will be–and not a spark for more violence.

Posted by Tim Fernholz, Managing Editor

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