WASHINTON–Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues last week released the following statement condemning the murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist who spoke out against the Armenian Genocide. "We were extremely disturbed to learn today of the murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist who spoke out against the killings of Armenia’s by the Ottoman Empire. "Dink was the editor of the Armenian-Turkish language weekly newspaper Agos and a well-known commentator on Armenian affairs, including the Armenian Genocide. Like so many other journalists, Dink was first charged with treason for upholding an irrefutable historical fact about the Armenian Genocide. He was convicted for his writings in 2005 for violating a law that makes it a crime to "insult" the Turkish state, and received numerous threats on his life over the years. "Dink was guilty of nothing more than having the courage to speak freely about the Armenian Genocide and promote tolerance in Turkey. Unfortunately, someone went to these extreme measures to silence his voice. "We condemn this terrible hate crime, and are deeply concerned that the Turkish Government’s continued persecution of citizens who dare speak truth about the Armenian Genocide could have helped provoke this violent crime. Turkey must realize that its own laws, which criminally punish anyone who insults the government, are creating an environment in which extremists are able to justify such violent behavior. "The Turkish government must send a strong message that actions such as these simply will not be tolerated. The government must act swiftly to find those responsible and then ensure that they receive a proper punishment."