09 September 2019 14:32

Three peace declaration signatory academics acquitted in Diyarbakır

​​​​​​​The acquittal has been ordered in Diyarbakır of three academics from Dicle University undergoing prosecution for having signed the “We will not be party to this crime” declaration.

Photograph: @egitimsen21 Twitter account

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Murat Kızıl, Murat Biricik at Fikret Uyar, professors serving at Dicle University who had been sentenced charged with “making terrorist organization propaganda” for having signed the “We will not be party to this crime” declaration, have been acquitted. This decision brings to four the number of academics to have been acquitted following the rights violation ruling.

Dicle University professors Murat Kızıl, Murat Biricik and Fikret Uyar were acquitted separately at their hearings held before Diyarbakır Serious Crime Court No 11.

According to a report carried on Bianet, the court ordered acquittal in the judgment, whose details are to be set out in the reasoned judgment, stating, “The legal elements of the crime of which the defendants were charged were not fulfilled.”

The academics reiterated their previous statements prior to the hearings and asked to be acquitted. Repeating the same recommendation in the three separate trials, the hearing prosecutor recalled the “rights violation” ruling that the Constitutional Court passed in the cases of the academics for peace and said the legal elements of the crime of “terrorist organization propaganda” had not been constituted.

The court correspondingly ordered the acquittal of the three academics. Thus, the trials of four academics with prosecutions pending against them have ended in acquittal.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Academics for Peace Initiative published the “We will not be party to this crime” declaration” on 10 January 2016 and 2,212 academics signed this declaration. After some academics who had been handed down jail terms on “terrorist organization propaganda” charges took local courts’ judgments to the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court passed a “rights violation” ruling on 26 July 2019 in the case into which the academics’ individual applications had been joined. According to the Constitutional Court ruling, local courts should hold retrials and order acquittals on pending cases and finalized sentences and rulings to overturn should be made on cases at the appeal stage. (EVRENSEL DAILY)