Sunday, September 24, 2006

9 Years Jail Demand for Rights Activist

Diyarbakir prosecutors have demanded 9 years imprisonment for IHD Provincial Chairman Selahattin Demirtas due to remarks he made on Gun TV and Roj TV. Demirtas is accused of "propaganda" for terror organization.
BIA News Center
20/09/2006 Erol ONDEROGLU BİA (Diyarbakir) - Public prosecutors have demanded a total of 9 years imprisonment for Turkey's Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakir representative Selahattin Demirtas, charging him on two counts for remarks he made on television during interviews with Roj TV and Gun TV.

Subject to the charges is Demirtas's reference to the isolation conditions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, saying that this treatment had led to an increase in human rights violations in Southeast Turkey and his aired views that Ocalan himself could be seen a counterpart to any peace efforts in the region.

The Diyarbakir 5th High Criminal Court prosecutor demanded 4.5 years jail for Demirtas due to the statement he gave to Roj TV in relation to a February 7, 2003 press statement he made under the title "Tension caused by war and isolation has increased violations".

In his views aired by Gun TV on June 24, 2005 Demirtas said that in order for any peace project in Turkey to be successful, Ocalan could not be left out of the process.

Demirtas appeared before the Diyarbakir 4th and 5th High Criminal Courts on September 19, Tuesday, defending his position and maintaining that any views he expressed should be evaluated under the freedom of opinion.

"I mentioned the proposals we came up with for the solution of the Kurdish problem" Demitas said in his defense. "One of these was our proposal to establish dialogue with Ocalan. I had no intention of praising anyone or conducting propaganda. To stop the bloodshed, even Ocalan should be talked to".

Both cases against Demirtas were adjourned to November 14 where his trial will continue for conducting the propaganda of an organization or its goals. Each count is punishable by 3 years imprisonment but as the offense was committed through the press, the sentence can be increased by half adding up to a total of 9 years jail term for the activist. (EO/II/YE)


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