The Armenian Council of America (ACA) and the Armenian Council of Europe (ACE) condemn the continued persecution of HDP party members and most notably, MP Garo Paylan. Throughout the last few weeks, the Erdogan regime has arrested members of his political opposition and heavily persecuted all those who speak out against his authoritarian rule.

Recently, Erdogan has directly targeted MP Paylan through the so called “Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM)” which is nothing more than a thinly veiled think tank promoting Erdogan’s racist and fascist ideology. ASAM’s subsidiary, the “Institute for Armenian Research” publishes the regime’s racist rhetoric against ethnic Armenians and denialism of the Armenian Genocide.

Over the past week, MP Paylan has called on the Turkish regime to immediately stop all warmongering activities, pro-war propaganda, and anti-Armenian rhetoric. These activities by Turkish officials have emboldened some Turks to intimidate and harass Turkey’s ethnic Armenian community. Instead, MP Paylan has asked that the Turkish regime engage in meaningful negotiation in order to deescalate the belligerent offensive engaged by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh and Armenia. Aside from the clear and implicit Turkish military assistance, Azerbaijan has now resorted to blatant war crimes by using cluster bombs in residential neighborhoods and indiscriminately targeting apartment buildings.

The ACA and ACE demand that MP Paylan continues to receive the same level of immunity enjoyed by his peers and the immediate cessation of all fabricated claims against his anti-war statements or activities as a member of the HDP. Further, we demand that the International Community aid and defend MP Paylan’s freedom of speech and freedom from malicious political prosecution.

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