Demonstrators who held banners targeting Armenians during last year’s commemoration of the Khojaly massacre, in which hundreds of Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenian military forces, have been sentenced to five months in prison by an Istanbul court, daily Habertürk reported March 2.
The banners which read “You are all Armenians, you are all bastards,” as well as signs that mocked the slain Turkish journalist of Armenian origin Hrant Dink, had caused indignation both inside and outside Turkey. Prosecutions were initiated against the 10 organizers who held the banners for incitement to hatred.
The indicted said their intention was not to insult, but rather to draw attention to the Khojaly massacre and protest the French Parliament. At the time, France was considering a bill to make it a crime to deny that the events of 1915 amounted to a genocide against the Armenian people.
The court sentenced six of the 10 suspects to six months in prison, which was reduced to five for good behavior during the trial. They were also fined 3,000 Turkish Liras.