The Arbitrary Use of Terrorism Laws to Prosecute and Incarcerate Demonstrators in Turkey
This report is based on a review of 50 cases. It describes 26 cases of individuals prosecuted for terrorism simply for taking part in protests deemed by the government to be sympathetic to the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Hundreds of Kurdish demonstrators are currently in prison pending the outcome of their trials or appeals against convictions. Others are serving long sentences that have been upheld by Turkey’s top court of appeal.
The report calls on the Turkish authorities to amend the laws that have resulted in the arbitrary and punitive application of terrorism charges against demonstrators, to suspend ongoing prosecutions against demonstrators under these laws, and to review the cases of those already convicted.
- Protesting as a Terrorist Offense
- I. Summary
- II. Background
- III. A Culture of Political Protest
- IV. Terrorism laws and Demonstrators
- V. Restricting the Rights to Freedom of Assembly and Expression
- VI. Stone-Throwing Equated with PKK Membership: Disproportionate Charges and Sentences
- VII. Convictions Based Solely on Police Identification
- VIII. Human Rights Violations
- IX. Specific Concerns Related to Prosecution of Child Demonstrators
- X. Recommendations
- Appendix: Translations of Relevant Articles: 2005 Turkish Penal Code and 2006 Revision to the Anti-Terror Law