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Urge California Governor Gavin Newsom to Deny Parole to Terrorist Hampig Sassounian

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On December 27, 2019, the California Board of Parole Hearings found inmate Hampig Sassounian, # C88440 suitable for parole. Hampig Sassounian was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for the heinous assassination of Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan on January 28, 1982, as Mr. Arikan was in his car waiting at a traffic signal. Sassounian shot Mr. Arikan 14 times in the chest and head. The Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG), the militant wing of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) claimed responsibility.

Sassounian entered prison on June 29, 1984. He is at San Quentin Prison, which is a maximum security facility where notable assassins have been inmates, such as Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy and Jang In-hwan, who assassinated American diplomat Durham Stevens. Sassounian's previous parole requests had been denied because of his violent extremism in advocating the Armenian allegation of genocide, which poses a public safety risk.

Under California law, Governor Gavin Newsom has the ability to stop Sassounian's release on parole.

Petition Letter:

Stop Release of Terrorist Hampig Sassounian

The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of California
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Newsom:

On December 27, 2019, the California Board of Parole Hearings found inmate Hampig Sassounian, # C88440 suitable for parole. Hampig Sassounian was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for the heinous assassination of Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan on January 28, 1982, as Mr. Arikan was in his car waiting at a traffic signal. Sassounian shot Mr. Arikan 14 times in the chest and head. Marxist-Leninist Armenian terrorist organization, the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG), the militant wing of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), claimed responsibility.

Armenian terrorism, particularly the heinous murder committed by Hampig Sassounian, continues to terrorize the Turkish American community. Turkish Americans feel at great risk when speaking and writing in opposition to the allegation that the Ottoman Armenian tragedy of 1915 constitutes the crime genocide.

The Turkish American Community is exceptionally alarmed by the legitimacy and sponsorship Armenian terrorism has gained from within the Armenian community and in particular by Armenian youth. ARF and ANCA, as well as their youth branches such as the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), have taken a lead role in sustaining this legitimacy, having never condemned, denounced, or made any adverse statements against Armenian terrorism. This effort at legitimacy is compounded by the fact that Hampig Sassounian has never expressed genuine remorse for his crime or sought atonement.

In the Armenian military’s Hay Zinvor magazine, Sassounian wrote: “I am the soldier of the Motherland until death; my Armenian blood taught me this.” His lengthy diatribe in Hay Zinvor, Sassounian shows how he sees the killing of Mr. Arikan and his incarceration as a part of a larger mission to give a message that the use of violence is justified, that after his release from prison he will continue to use violence, and that this is all about justice for himself and the Armenian Cause, not justice for the family of Mr. Arikan. Sassounian concludes, “The way for justice is long, and I will pass it with self-sacrificing, devotion, patience.”

In stark contrast, he has incited Armenian youth to continue the fight. In the end, Sassounian was raised by this network of Armenian terrorist organizations, which he now perpetuates. Part of that upbringing is not to feel remorse, but to carry on as if violence is a legitimate and moral response to what is at its core an historical disagreement.

As a member of Turkish American Community, I am deeply concerned that granting Sassounian parole would not only vindicate him and steal justice from the Arikan family and victims of Armenian terrorism, but also fuel Armenian terror networks. A grant of parole would also further undermine the ever-diminishing security of Turkish Americans in exercising their First Amendment freedoms of speech, expression and assembly without fear of disruption and attack by Armenian groups.

I strongly urge you to reverse the California Board of Parole Hearings' decision to grant Sassounian parole.

Thank you for your time and any consideration in the matter.

 



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