Posted by: hevallo | April 27, 2011

>EU Committee Observers to Kurdish ‘Trial’ in Turkey: "Everything We Saw Was Anti Democratic!"

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NEWSCENTRE (DİHA) – Diyarbakır Heavy Criminal Court postponed the Historical trial of Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK) yesterday in the shadow of a mass protest demonstration in Diyarbakır.

The European Committee, formed by members from Germany, Austria and Greece, expressed their observation; “We witnessed an unlawful trial as well as brutal practice against the defendants and demonstrators in Diyarbakır.”
“We have followed the trail of Kurdish politician. As we saw, every practice of soldiers and police in Diyarbakır and in the court house was anti-democratic. What it was obvious about for us that this trial is certainly not legitimate but political. There was nothing which meets with European standards at the court. Be believed that this trial is symbolic. No one has an authority to trial elected politicians in such a terrible situation,” said Andrej Hunko, a member of the European Parliament, when he was speaking to DİHA about KCK trial.

Lawyers for Kurdish politicians at the so-called KCK trial in Diyarbakir boycotted the hearing yesterday. The defense lawyers are arguing that their clients have the right to defend themselves in Kurdish, while the Court says they haven’t. When the KCK trial resumed on Monday, lawyers walked out and staged a sit in protest.

The trial see 151 Kurdish politicians and human rights activists in the dock accused of allegedly representing the urban wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The biggest trial opened in Diyarbakir on 18 October last year.

In a series of police operations beginning on 14 April 2009 and referred to in the press as the ‘KCK operations’, 151 people were detained on the basis of alleged links to illegal organizations. These people included lawyers, mayors, politicians, trade unionists and human rights activists, were recently brought to trial together in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Only 15 days after the party’s significant gain in the March 2009 local elections, where it won a further 45 municipalities, mass raids were carried out at the homes, businesses and offices of mayors, party activists, human rights advisors, lawyers and many others, pursuant to the KCK operations.

The subsequent trial relating to the KCK operations began on 18 October 2010 at the Special State Penal Court. By the time the trial began many of the defendants had been in custody for a period of 18 months. The trial was an unusual case primarily due to its size: there were 151 defendants represented by 250 lawyers, with an indictment against them of 7,500 pages and further supporting evidence of 130,000 pages. Much of the evidence had apparently been gathered from wiretapping and phone bugging, and there was a lack of clarity regarding the exact charges, and the basis for such charges, against each defendant.

The trial is significant for the individual defendants, with each facing possible jail sentences of 15 years-to-life if found guilty. Further, the timing of the arrests has led many observers to question the state of democracy in Turkey. The number of defendants, their prolonged detention, the questionable means of collecting evidence, as well as the Court’s attitude towards the use of the Kurdish language in the trial, has fanned fears that the accusations are politically motivated rather than based on violations of the law. Therefore, the trial is of a wider significance in terms of the implications it raises regarding democracy in Turkey and the state’s attitude towards a political resolution of the Kurdish question.Source:DIHA

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