German court sentences Metin Aydın to four and a half years in prison

ANF – STUTTGART 28.02.2014 – Germany, which consistently co-operates with Turkey, has reached another judgment that will hurt the feelings of the Kurds. Kurdish politician Metin Aydın, charged with being a director of Komalen Ciwan, has been handed a 4 and a half year prison sentence.

Metin Aydın was arrested in Switzerland in 2011 on the grounds that he was wanted in Germany and extradited the following year. Metin Aydın’s trial, which commenced in August at the Stuttgart High Court, has concluded, with Aydın being found guilty of ‘membership of a foreign terrorist organisation’. In the judgment it was claimed 36-year-old Aydın was a leader of Komalen Ciwan who recruited for the PKK from 2008 until he was taken into custody in 2012.

Aydın: ‘I’m happy because I have struggled for my people’

Metin Aydın said in court that he was happy as he had been able to do something for his people, adding that he could not be tried for his struggle. He added that while in Kurdistan his village had been burnt down by troops ad that he had been arrested and tortured.

Judge claims: ‘this case is not political’

The judge in the Stuttgart court said that it was difficult to reach a verdict, saying that it was necessary to think hard regarding countries such as Turkey where human rights violations were a part of daily life. The judge then claimed that the case against Aydın was ‘not a political trial of dissidents under surveillance on account of their political views’. The judge added that ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’ was an offence in Germany.

Metin Aydın was arrested in Switzerland on 20 June 2011 at the request of the German authorities. The reason given was Germany including the PKK within the scope of article 129, known as the ‘anti-terror’ law. He was held in solitary confinement in Switzerland for 16 months solely on the grounds that ‘extradition procedures are being carried out’. Aydın went on hunger strike for 54 days in protest at his extradition, almost dying as a result. German police accepted Metin Aydın shackled to his bed in November 2012 after a journey that lasted several hours. Metin Aydın, who has lived in Europe for several years, had an elder brother who previously died in the ranks of the freedom struggle in Kurdistan.