85 women worldwide organizations from 31 countries released a statement supporting Canan Arın, advocate and founder of Mor Çatı women organization who is currently being charged with “insulting Prophet Mohammed and President Abdullah Gül.
“This trial is prosecuting the struggle against male violence,” the statement said.
Arın might be convicted up to 5 years of prison.
During a conference organized by Antalya Bar Association between December 3-4, 2011 on “Violence Against Women and Women Rights Law”, Arın reminded that early marriages was a common practice in Turkey’s history mentioning the marriages of Prophet Mohammed and President Abdullah Gül.
A group of male advocates filed lawsuits against Arın for “insulting the islamic prophet” and were granted to become a plaintiff by the court as they were “muslim”.
Judicial advisory studies conducted by academicians from Galatasaray and Yeditepe University, as well as Prof. Dr Nur Centel found no evidence of crime in Arın’s statement.
“Freedom of expression on early marriages is a part of struggle”
Dozens of women associations from Turkey, as well as Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, DRC, Mozambique, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal, US, UK, Zimbabwe wrote a letter to President Abdullah Gül to bring awareness on the issue on an international level.
The letter emphasized on the freedom of expression on early marriages as a part struggle:
“Early marriages is now recognized worldwide as violence, early pregnancies cause the death of young mothers. We are struggling to bring awareness on early marriages which we believe to be a form of violence. Freedom of expression on early marriages is a part of our struggle. Now, world leaders are talking about early marriages. We are calling the government of Turkey to cooperate with women organizations that combat early marriages, and help enable discussions on the issue.”
The third hearing of the trial will be held on May 30 in Antalya. (ÇT/BM)