Thursday, October 21, 2010

Second hearing of KCK trial in Adana starts tomorrow

21 October 2010

After Diyarbakir is the turn of Adana. The first hearing of the KCK trial is scheduled tomorrow

As the mass trial of Kurdish politicians and activists continues in Diyarbakir tomorrow another KCK (Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan) trial will take place, this time in Adana. Tomorrow indeed the first hearing of the trial is scheduled. The defendants, like it happened in Diyarbakir, are going to request permission for a defense in Kurdish. Lawyer Özkan announced, "We will request the release of the defendants and demand a courageous decision of the court".

In Adana there are 47 defendants, 22 of whom are in prison. The trial is to be heard at Adana 8th High Criminal Court.

Lawyers of the Kurdish defendants argue that the right to a defense in Kurdish, i.e. in one owns mother tongue, is a legal right. The Court in Diyarbakir ruled on Tuesday that the defendants could not present their defense in Kurdish. The defense lawyers in Adana will argue that to deny this right is indeed going to rise doubts about the fairness of the trial.

If the indictment of the Diyarbakir trial has over 1000 pages, the Adana KCK trial has 360 pages. According to defense lawyers in the Adana trial, to prosecute politicians, parties and activists risks to seriously undermine the hopes and wishes of the Kurdish people in their active search for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.

The gendarmerie and the police carried out raids in Adana on 15 August 2008 in the scope of the so-called KCK operation. A total of 47 people were taken into custody, twelve of whom were arrested. Among the detained defendants are the Mayor of Misis, Burhan Aras, Zeki Karataş as the former Adana Provincial Chair or the dissolved pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), Seyhan District Mayor Mehmet Nardan and Yüreğir District Mayor Durmaz Özmen.

Kenan Karavil, publication director of the Adana Radio Dünya ('World'), was arrested on 10 December 2009 in the scope of the case and has been detained ever since. He was taken to the Kürkçüler F Type Prison. The journalist is charged with "committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization" and "spreading propaganda for an illegal organization". He is facing a prison sentence of between eight to 22.5 years.

The indictment was presented to the Adana 8th High Criminal Court on 25 June. It was sent back to the Adana Public Prosecution by reasons of "inadequate evidence" and because it "did not specifically describe the crimes of the detained defendants".