Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Defense in Kurdish was rejected - UPDATE

19 October 2010

Many delegations from Europa are observing the trial

The second day of the trail against KCK in which 103 in custody, in total 151 Kurdish politicians and human rights defenders are tried started at the Diyarbakir Heavy Criminal Court Nr. 6. Although the defendants wanted to defend themselves in Kurdish the judges rejected this request and the indictment composed of 7 thousand and 578 pages was started being read out.

The Kurdish politicians and the human rights defenders are charged with “attempt to break the invisible unity of the state”, “being member and directors of an outlawed organization” and “aiding and abetting an outlawed organization.” If they are found guilty they will be sentenced to between 15 year and lifelong aggravated imprisonment.

Almost ten Kurdish mayors including the Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir are also among the defendants.

The trials are observed by international delegations

Speaking on behalf of the German delegation Member of the Hessen State Parliament Barbara Cardenas urged the Turkish authorities and the EU to release the Kurdish mayors and politicians immediately. “I am here in order to present my solidarity. The Turkish authorities should release the defendants. Turkish and Kurdish people are the brothers and the right to autonomy of the Kurdish people should be recognized.” added German MP.

A German lawyer Britta Eder also said that the case is not legal but political. “The trial is a way of intimidation against those who are struggling for the Kurdish rights. The whole process is arbitrary.” added lawyer Britta. The German delegation also pointed out that journalist Hamdiye Ciftci and head of Human Rights Association Muharrem Erbey are also on trial.

Turkish police attacked the European delegations

The Italian delegation holding ‘Freedom to all’ banners was attacked by the Turkish police who wanted to disperse the delegations waiting in front of the court building. During the police intervention an Italian observer was kicked by the police. 60 observers then moved to the peace tent set up in front of the Municipality building.