Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
March 11, 2021
The Department of State is deeply disappointed by the expected grant of parole in the State of California of Hampig “Harry” Sassounian, who was convicted of the 1982 murder of Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan.
Attacking a diplomat is not only a grave crime against a particular individual, it is also an attack on diplomacy itself. To ensure the safety of the dedicated U.S. diplomats serving around the world, it has been the longstanding position of the United States to advocate that those who assassinate diplomats receive the maximum sentence possible and that they serve those sentences without parole or early release.
We again offer our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Arikan and our colleagues at Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their loss.