Tuncel judgment at Istanbul court

ANF – ANKARA 02.01.2014 – The Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor’s Office has sent to Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals which approved the 8 year 9 month sentence for HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel.

It is reported that the judgment will be read out in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) after being sent to the TBMM Presidency. With the reading out of the judgment Tuncel will lose her status as an MP.  Tuncel was arrested on 5 November 2006 in Istanbul, accused of “membership of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)” and remanded in custody. After being elected as an independent from the 3rd electoral region of Istanbul in the general elections of 22 July 2007, she was released from the Gebze M Type Closed Prison on 24 July 2007.

Tuncel was convicted and sentenced to 8 years 9 months imprisonment at Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court on 18 September 2012. This sentence was ratified by the Supreme Court of Appeals on 28 December 2013.The HPD, BDP and civil society organisations reacted strongly to the ratification of the verdict. Sebahat Tuncel said: “This is a blatantly political judgment.”   In a statement the HDP said: “Both the verdict of the court and the ratification are political  and a blow to the will expressed by the people. We consider this judgment to be illegitimate and will take it to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. We will also continue our democratic struggle. The forces of democracy, labour and peace in Turkey will not remain silent at this judgment”. BDP Co-chairs Gültan Kışanak and Selahattin Demirtaş also condemned the judgment, calling it “an attack on the right to conduct democratic politics”.