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Trials of the two academics accused of "propagandising for a terrorist organisation" after having signed the declaration entitled "We will not be a party to this crime", continued in four different courts in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse.
In the 36th High Criminal Court, Dr. Lecturer B.C.B. from Koç University, Dr. Lecturers Umut Şah and Efe Arık from Arel University, and Dr. Lecturer Reyda Ergün from Kadir Has University have stood trial for a second time.
The four academics standing ready in the hearing room, presented their statements of defence too. The Prosecutor, Hasan Adali expressing his opinion on the basis, asked for penalty of the academics as per the article 7/2 of Anti-Terror Law. Refusing the requests for combining and extension of the prosecution, the court board postponed the trials.
On the other hand, second hearings of Associate Professor Özlem Beyarslan, and Nevim Borçin, postgraduate at Boğaziçi University, were held in the 14th High Criminal Court. Beyarslan did not attend the court in-person by giving excuse. Following Borçin and her solicitor's defences, the court board passed a verdict to dispatch the case to the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to get permission for trial according to the Turkish Penal Code Article 301.
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 Turkish Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
As of June 19, 2018, 254 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 15 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for that of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University. The penalties of Prof. Dr. Üstel and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı were 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."
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 lawsuits still continue. (HG/TK)
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