May 15, 2017, Washington, DC | Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) commends California Governor Jerry Brown for denying the parole of San Quentin Prison inmate Hampig Sassounian, whose parole was previously granted by the California Board of Parole.

Sassounian, Inmate C88440, 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. Armenian terrorist organization JCAG claimed responsibility. Sassounian entered prison on June 29, 1984. 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.

In early January 2017, the ATAA launched an online petition and started social media alerts in response to California Board of Parole’s decision on releasing terrorist Sassounian. The action alerts and online campaigns prompted thousands of Turkish Americans and friends of Turkey to call on Governor Brown to deny Sassounian’s release.

ATAA thanks the Turkish American community, Turkish and Turkic American organizations, including Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC), Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), Pax Turcica Institute, U.S. Azeris Network and many others for their tremendous efforts resulted in the reversal of the parole of terrorist Hamping Sassounian.