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Assailant in Street Attack in Turkey Ordered Released

Court ignores ‘religious hostility’ of Turk who held knife to Christian’s throat.

By Barbara G. Baker

2/12/2010 Turkey (Compass Direct News) – An Istanbul court has ordered the release of a jailed Turk who publicly threatened and held a knife to the throat of a Christian he attacked six months ago. In a ruling on Wednesday (Feb. 10), the Kadikoy Seventh Court of First Instance convicted Yasin Karasu, 24, of making death threats and mounting an armed attack against Ismail Aydin. Shouting to attract passersby as he held a knife to Aydin’s throat on Aug. 3, Karasu had denounced the Christian as a “missionary dog” who had betrayed Turkey by leaving Islam and evangelizing others. The crime is punishable by four years in prison, but Justice Tahsin Dogan ruled that Karasu should be released unconditionally, without serving the remainder of his sentence. “It seems that the judge did not take into account at all that this crime was committed with religious hostility,” one member of the legal committee of Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches told Compass. “That, in my view, should have aggravated the crime and sentence.”

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