The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Tuesday it has ruled that the Turkish state failed to protect the life of Hrant Dink, a Armenian journalist who was murdered in early 2007.
In a statement released in Strasbourg, the court also said it found that the Turkish state had failed to protect Dink's freedom of expression prior to his murder.
Dink had initially filed a case with the ECHR himself, after he was convicted of "insulting Turkishness" for a column he wrote in Agos, the Armenian Turkish newspaper he edited.
After his murder, the journalist's family launched another case before the court, accusing Turkish authorities of taking insufficient measures to protect Dink's life.
The two cases were eventually merged. In its ruling, the court sentenced the Turkish state to pay 105,000 euros (135,000 dollars) to Dink's family in compensation and an extra 28,595 euros to the court for expenditures.
The outspoken Dink was shot three times in the head on the sidewalk in front of Agos in January 2007. His accused murderer, Ogun Samast, was 17 years old at the time of the shooting. Samast is currently on trial for the murder.
The Turkish state has faced criticism that it failed to do enough to protect Dink, despite repeated threats to his life by ultra nationalists. There have also been questions about whether certain members of Turkey's police force played a role in the incident.
Following Samast's arrest, for instance, pictures were leaked to the press showing members of the police force proudly posing with the accused murderer.
This decision should not be the end of the story, Emma Sinclair Webb, a Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the German Press Agency dpa.
The authorities and the court should view this as a push to get to the bottom of this case, find out who the murderers were and uncover any possible collusion by elements of the state in the killing, she added.
ECHR: Turkish State Liable in Hrant Dink Murder
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