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Trial of academics, who have been charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the declaration entitled "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by the Academics for Peace, continued in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse yesterday (November 5).
At the 36th Heavy Penal Court, research assistant C.E. from İstanbul Bilgi University had the second hearing. Presenting the statement of defense, the academic accepted that the announcement of the verdict be suspended.
The Prosecutor's Office announced its opinion as to the accusations and demanded that research assistant C.E. be penalized on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the first and second sentences of the Article no. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).
The court board granted time to the defendant and attorney time until the next hearing so that they could prepare their statements of defense against the opinion of the Prosecutor's Office as to the accusations.
The request of attorney Ali Deniz for the exemption of C.E. from attending the hearings was rejected by the court board on the ground that "the Prosecutor's Office announced its opinion as to the accusations."
The next hearing will be held on January 23, 2019.
The court board consisted of Presiding Judge Hakan Özer; members Onur Engin Deniz, Veli Gürson; and Prosecutor Hasan Adalı.
On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled "We will not be party to this crime" on behalf of the Academics for Peace initiative. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.
With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of November 5, 2018, 379 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 33 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.
The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that "she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she did not make a statement of penitence." As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that "no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse."
On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" was published. The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the above-mentioned statement for press, were arrested on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law. They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of "insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government."
The trials still continue. (TP/SD)
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