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Apologize and retract information defaming Armenians

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We, the undersigned, demand that KCAL 9 (CBS), ABC News, Fox News, as well as journalists Kara Finnstrom, James Gordon Meek, Lee Ferran and Joshua Rhett Miller to apologize in a written form to the Armenian-American community for defaming it, in “FBI Investigating Local Gang Members Fighting With Terrorist Group In Syria” (KCAL 9, CBS) “LA Gang Members in Syria: Organized Crime, Terrorism ‘Converge’” (ABC News) and “Los Angeles gangbangers surface in Syria to join Assad forces in fighting” (FOX News), by promoting and disseminating unconfirmed information which implicates, Nerses Kilajian and Sarou Madarian, former U.S. residents, Syrian nationals of Armenian descent, as terrorists (KCAL 9 (CBS) and ABC News) and mercenaries (Fox News). The journalists in question have manifested bias by failing to give the other side a fair chance to offer insight. We also urge LA Times and The Burbank Leader to remove “FBI Investigating Local Gang Members Fighting With Terrorist Group In Syria,” the biased CBS video from their article (For more details see 'The Bias in Labelling People Terrorists').

We also urge Mike Downing, Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief for Counterterrorism, to apologize to the Armenian community for rushing to label the two of its former members terrorists before that conjecture was substantiated with any evidence by the ongoing investigation. Such hasty and insensitive public statements based on mere speculations are capable of causing a surge of groundless panic in California and hatred towards its sizeable Armenian population. Thus, we demand that Mike Downing make a retraction, particularly, with regard to this statement:

"My organized crime and gang investigators found it online and on Facebook," Downing said. "We're kind of concerned about their recruitment and whatever other associates they have here... We predicted this would happen -- the [organized crime and terrorism] convergence. What we're worried about is the ones we don't know about here or coming back to the U.S." (“LA Gang Members in Syria: Organized Crime, Terrorism ‘Converge’”)



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