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Trial of 24 people, who were detained during 15th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Parade planned to be organized as part of 25th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week last year, continued today (June 28).
LGBTI activists watched the hearing which coincided with 26th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week.
Lawyers Levent Pişkin and Davut Erkan demanded acquittal of 23 LGBTI activists in the third hearing held by İstanbul 48th Criminal Court of First Instance.
Rejecting the demand for acquittal, the court ruled that the next hearing be held on November 8.
Speaking to bianet, lawyer Pişkin said:
“In fact, this case is a simple freedom of expression case. Such bans and detention directly threaten LGBTI existence. Such a case should have never existed but it did. We expect acquittal.
“There is no police warning and no crime was constituted on the day of the incident. Police just detained people ‘whom they thought to be LGBTI’. This means directly criminalizing LGBTI identity. We deem this trial as part of an all-out attack launched against freedom of expression in Turkey”.
23 LGBTI activists, two of whom are not citizens of Turkey, and one person who came to Beyoğlu with the aim to attack the activists have been tried. They are charged with opposing to the Law on Demonstration and Rallies.
İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Parade has been held since 2003. 100 thousand people are estimated to attend the parade organized in 2013.
Police’s first intervention attempt took place in 2015 but the parade was actualized despite the police attack.
In 2016, the parade couldn’t be held due to police attack. Police detained a large number of people including Pride Week Committee members and European Parliament MPs.
Nine people who were detained during İstanbul Trans Pride Parade on June 19, 2016, were acquitted in the hearing held by 60th Criminal Court of First Instance on June 19, 2017.
Good conduct time for Alperens who threatened LGBTI
Alperen Movement İstanbul Provincial Chair Kürşat Mircan, who said, “If the state doesn’t prevent the parade, Alperen Movemen will prevent it as the ‘representatives of deep nation’”, was sentenced to six months in prison on December 14, 2017 on charge of “inciting people to enmity and animosity”, but his penalty was converted to fine of 4 thousand TL on “good conduct”. (ÇT/TK)
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