FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2018
Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622
Ottawa — Two Toronto men of Turkish origin, Ahmet Dereci and Mahmut Sami Ellialti, who were charged with assault for attacking peaceful anti-Erdogan protesters in Washington DC last summer, have not yet been arrested, reported the Toronto Star in an article published on December 29,, 2017.
Last May, during Turkish President Erdogan’s official state-visit to Washington, peaceful anti-Erdogan protesters, including Canadians, were attacked by Erdogan’s security-detail, in front the Turkish Ambassador’s residence. Dereci and Ellialti were in Washington to greet Erdogan and joined Erdogan’s army of thugs when they brazenly attacked demonstrators.
“These attacks were not only a direct insult to the protesters and their political convictions, but also an attack on our western values of freedom, democracy and justice” said Shahen Mirakian, President of the ANCC.
“The fact that these two men have not yet been arrested, simply adds insults to injury, and we find it strongly unacceptable for our authorities to remain silent and allow alleged hate crimes to remain unpunished” added Mirakian.
Many of the men involved in the brawl had arrest warrants issued in their name but not all have been brought to justice by law enforcement, including Dereci and Ellialti. Reports indicate that no Canadian law enforcement agency has been contacted regarding the case of the two men.
While investigations are still underway and Dereci and Ellialti’s whereabouts are unknown, some information revealed by the Toronto Star suggests that the two men are now outside of Canada, fleeing prosecution.
“We call upon our government to work closely with law enforcement agencies in the United States and take all steps necessary to bring these men to justice” concluded Mirakian.
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Armenian-Canadian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-Canadian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.