Posted by: hevallo | November 4, 2010

>Public Meeting London Parliament: ‘Mass Show Trial Puts all Kurds in the Dock’


Mass Show Trial Puts all Kurds in the Dock
UK Delegation Reports Back

Tuesday, 9 November, 6.30-8.30pm
Committee Room 14, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1
— Please ensure you arrive by 5.45 in order to pass through the security checks —

Hosted by Hywel Williams MP
With members of the delegation: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Margaret Owen, human rights lawyer,
Hugo Charlton, barrister, Ali Has, lawyer and Serife Semsedini, human rights advisor

Guest speaker: Nuri Yaman BDP MP for Mus

A mass trial of 151 Kurdish political leaders opened in Turkey on 18 October and its outcome will have immense implications for the future of democracy and peace in the country. A delegation from Britain consisting of MPs and lawyers flew to Diyarbakir to attend the opening days of the trial and will be reporting back their observations at the public meeting.

The first part of the trial is expected to conclude on 12 November when it will be decided whether or not there is a case to answer against the Kurdish public figures, politicians and activists who are all accused of “violating the unity of the state” and abetting terrorism. The wider long term implications of the trial for the future of democracy and peace in Turkey will be addressed at the meeting, along with how the UK and other countries should respond to this disturbing development which seems to contradict the Turkish government’s reform agenda and “opening” towards the Kurds.

Among the 151 accused are prominent Kurdish politicians, lawyers, elected mayors, and many respected leaders of Kurdish civil society organisations, of whom some 103 have already been held in detention for more than 18 months. Among the accused are some of the most respected Kurdish political leaders in Turkey and the Kurdish community as a whole feels that it is being put on trial and punished for its vote of abstention in the recent referendum on constitutional changes. The mass trial is creating a highly tense atmosphere in the country and is sending entirely the wrong signal to the Kurds suggesting they cannot hope to resolve their concerns through normal democratic and constitutional channels.

“The manner in which the evidence to be proven in the trial was gathered gives cause for extreme concern. It is clear from the sheer volume of the 7,500 indictment and so-called supporting evidence that there no grounds for suspecting that any actual crimes have been committed, such as references to weapons, acts of violence, or conspiracy for terrorism,” said human rights lawyer Margaret Owen, one of the trial observers.

Eyewitness accounts and detailed observations of the trial from members of the UK delegation and there will be ample time for discussion and exchange of views.

The meeting is supported by Kurdish Community Centre Haringey, Kurdish Federation UK, Halkevi and Croyden Commnunity Centres, Roj Women’s Association, British Peace Council, Liberation and Peace inn Kurdistan Campaign

For information contact: Peace in Kurdistan Campaign:
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish question –

Estella Schmid – Tel: 020 7586 5892 – mobile 07846666804
Rachel Bird – Tel: 020 7272 4131


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