ArmInfo. Article 301 brings the final death to freedom of speech in Turkey, lawmaker of the Turkish parliament from the Democratic Party of Peoples Garo Paylan expressed such an opinion to ArmInfo, commenting on the latest processes initiated against him.
On January 11, the republican prosecutor's office of Diarbekir sent a petition to the Turkish parliament to deprive him of parliamentary immunity. At the same time, this structure applied to the Ministry of Justice of Turkey for permission to launch an investigation against the parliamentarian on the grounds of Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code – public humiliation of Turkish statehood, the people and the government. The prosecutor's office's appeals are based on the latest statements and interviews made by Paylan to Turkish media.
"All these petitions, the whole campaign against me are exclusively based on my own statements to the media, made in my city- Diarbekir. Indeed, I did not like the tense situation, the suppression of any dissent, the servicemen and military equipment on the streets. Yes, I openly stated about this, but this by no means should become basis for using Article 301 against an opposition-minded lawmaker, "he said. In this light, the parliamentarian considers all recent steps of the authorities against him as an attempt to make him and other lawmakers keep silence about numerous violations of law and freedom of rights in Turkey. The most terrible and unacceptable in all this, he considers the "return" of the 301st article of the Turkish Criminal Code sadly remembered since the murder of Hrant Dink.
This petition is the second against Paylan. In December last year, the Office of the President of Turkey made a petition to deprive parliamentary immunity against eight parliamentarians. In addition to Paylan, the list included five of his party members, one lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party, and another from the opposition Republican People's Party. Another request for deprivation of immunity of 20 parliamentarians this time was received from the prosecutor's office last week. Former Adviser to the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan Arsen Kharatyan on his Facebook page urged the lawmakers of the National Assembly of Armenia of the new convocation on January 14 – immediately after officially taking office – make a joint statement in defense of Garo Paylan. "The Turkish state has been repressing against Paylan for a long time. The Armenian parliament which has an unprecedented legitimacy, should send a corresponding statement to the RA Foreign Ministry and instruct our diplomatic missions to take steps towards adopting resolutions condemning the processes in Turkey," Kharatyan called.