An Istanbul court today acquitted journalist Nadire Mater and her
publisher Semih Sokmen of charges of "insulting the military."
The book contains interviews with forty-two men who served in the Turkish security forces in the southeast between 1984 and 1998.
Commenting on the verdict, Nadire Mater said, "Once more we saw the importance of solidarity. I thank Human Rights Watch and all the other journalistic and rights organizations. I hope this case will be a model and an inspiration for journalists and writers in Turkey and elsewhere." Human Rights Watch consultant James Ron was among a large number foreign and Turkish observers at the trial.
"So long as Article 159 of the penal code remains on the statute book, all those who criticize the activities of ministries, parliament, or the security forces risk prosecution and imprisonment," said Sugden.
Human Rights Watch has called for removal of Article 159 and of similar provisions in a new draft penal code recently submitted to parliament.