Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) commends California Governor Gavin Newsom for denying the parole of San Quentin Prison inmate Hampig Sassounian, whose parole was previously granted by the California Board of Parole.

In his letter, Governor Newsom concluded that “After reviewing and considering the evidence in the record, I believe that Mr. Sassounian must do additional work before he can be safely released. Accordingly, I find that he still poses an unreasonable danger to society if released and I reverse the Board’s decision to parole Mr. Sassounian.”

The terrorist 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. Armenian terrorist organization Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) claimed responsibility. CIA determined JCAG as a Global terrorist organization in 1984. 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 late 2019, the ATAA launched an online petition and started social media alerts against Sassounian’s parole, to prevent the obstruction of justice and to support efforts by the Turkish American community and Turkish American organizations nationwide. The action alerts and online campaigns prompted thousands of Turkish Americans and friends of Turkey to call on Governor Newsom to reject Sassounian’s release.

ATAA thanks the Turkish American community, Turkish and Turkic American organizations, including the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC) and many others for their tremendous efforts resulted in the denial of the parole of convicted murderer, Armenian terrorist Hampig Sassounian