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Gerila TV

 

The Diyarbakır Prosecution demands a total of 127.5 years imprisonment for 17 members of the "Peace Groups" that entered Turkey in 2009. They are charged with "spreading organizational propaganda" and "praising crime and criminals" in a press conference at the Human Rights Foundation.

The Diyarbakır Prosecution launched a trial with members of the peace groups that entered Turkey in October 2009 via the Iraqi border. The prosecution demands prison sentence of a total of 127.5 years for the 17 defendants.

26 refugees from the UN refugee camp in Mahmur and eight former members of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) crossed the border to south-eastern Turkey upon imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's call on 19 October 2009. They followed their own personal decisions as an attempt to push forward the jammed political process of finding a solution to the Kurdish question.

The members of the peace groups had given their statements to the prosecutor after they had entered the country. Subsequently, five people were temporarily detained before all group members had eventually been released on 20 October.

As reported by Günlük newspaper, the defendants stand accused of "spreading PKK propaganda" and "praising crime and criminals" based on a press release made at the Diyarbakır Branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) on 30 November 2009.  The peace group members are facing prison sentence of between one year and six months and seven years and six months each.

The following members of the peace groups stand trial: Elif Uludağ, Gülbahar Çiçek, Lütfü Taş, Mustafa Ayhan, Vilayet Yakut, Şerif Gençdal, Hamyet Dinçer, Hüseyin İpek, Abdullah Yaman, Fatma İzer, Ayşe Kara, Bülent Aka, Nizar Buldan, İsmail Ayas, Zehra Tunç, Sisin Yaman and Nurettin Turgut.

Shortly after having entered Turkey, Mehmet Şerif Gençdağ from the group coming from Kandil had said that they came to seek a solution of the Kurdish question, "Our hands should not remain empty, this time we should hold on to peace. We say that war is not a solution. Everybody should read this message carefully. The way to dialogue and negotiation should be opened. We want to go on in honourable peace", Gençdağ had indicated.

In a meeting on 30 November, the group also touched upon the issue of Öcalan's detention conditions. The PKK leader is imprisoned on Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara since 1999.

BİA News Center