Academics demanding Peace face in charge
The trials against Academics for Peace start this week.
The juridical oppression on the 1128 members of Academics for Peace who signed the petition titled ’We will not be a party to this crime’ in January 2016, demanding to cease of human rights violations and armed conflicts in the Kurdish cities. It is over 150 signatories among 1128 academics, to whom public prosecutor proposes imprisonment for 7.5 years for the accusation of “propagandising for terror”. The calendar of these judgements start on December 5 and will continue until May 2018 at the Justice Palace in İstanbul.
MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
In the petition text, the signatories reminded the social tension rising after 7 June Election in 2015 and the human rights violations during the military operations in Sur district in Diyarbakır and Cizre in Şırnak and put into words the supremacy of law and the demand for peace. President Tayyip Erdoğan targeted the signatories right after the declaration of the text. After that, several signatories’ houses were raided, they were taken into custody and even arrested by the police. Furthermore, public universities opened investigations about many of them and private universities did not renew their working contracts. 733 academics were questioned in March 2016 by İstanbul Chef Public Prosecutor’s Terror and Organised Crimes Office. After President Erdoğan’s speech and his enlargement of the definition of “terror and terrorist”, academics Esra Mungan, Meral Camcı, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya were arrested and jailed for 38 days.
NOAM CHOMSKY’S SOLIDARITY MESSAGE TO ACADEMICS FOR PEACE
Noam Chomsky sent a solidarity message to the Academics for Peace:
"The penal case against the signers of the Academics for Peace petition is a shocking miscarriage of justice, which friends of the Turkish people can only view with dismay. The wording of the indictment, throughout, makes it clear that the case is an assault against fundamental rights of free expression that should be zealously safeguarded. To take only one example, the signers are accused of calling on the government “to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage.” These are entirely reasonable appeals, quite standard in free societies, and very natural and praiseworthy on the part of concerned citizens. Those who feel that the petition misrepresents facts have ample opportunity to respond in a civilized manner. There is nothing in the petition that supports terrorism in the slightest way. The tortured attempt of the prosecution to distort a principled appeal for peace and justice into support for terrorism should not be tolerated in a society that values freedom and basic human rights." (EVRENSEL DAILY)