İHD MEMBER ACQUITTED OF TERRORIST PROPAGANDA: 'Court of Appeal's Acquittal Verdict Can Establish a Precedent for Academics for Peace'

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Bursa 2nd Court of Justice 2nd Penal Chamber (the court of appeal) has made its ruling in the case of Human Rights Association (İHD) member Hayrettin Pişkin, who was being tried for his social media posts.

Pişkin was charged with terrorist propaganda due to his posts on Facebook regarding the Afrin operation, which is conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces in Syria's Afrin in 2018.

The court of appeal overturned the Çanakkale 2nd Heavy Penal Court's verdict of a 30-month prison sentence for Pişkin and acquitted him.

The court announced its verdict in accordance with the prosecutor's opinion that "the social media post has the qualifications of criticism and it does not include a call or an invitation for violence."

Same charge for the Academic for Peace

Speaking to bianet after the hearing, Pişkin's attorney İnci İncesağır said that the court of appeal's verdict will "balance and limit the tendency to give sentences in lawsuits that were filed on the charge of terrorist propaganda."

"Every kind of writings that criticize the government's use of power would be sentenced with this charge. This ruling could curb this tendency," he said.

İncesağır added that the verdict can establish a precedent for the Academics for Peace, who are being tried for the same charge.

Case was brought to court of appeal

A lawsuit was filed against İHD Central Executive Committee member Hayrettin Pişkin for "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" upon the Article 7/2 of the Turkish Penal code for a Facebook post that criticizes the Afrin operation and the opposition's stance against the operation.

Being detained on January 25, 2018, Pişkin was held arrested for two months.

Çanakkale 2nd Heavy Penal Court sentenced him to prison for 30 months. Pişkin appealed against the verdict.

"Every verdict can be appealed against"

Pişkin and his attorney İncesağır attended today's hearing at the court of appeal.

While Pişkin claimed the article he shared is within the scope of the freedom of expression, İncesağır claimed the 30-month sentence can be appealed against, citing a Constitutional Court decision on the issue.

Prosecutor: Post does not call for violence

Prosecutor Özcan Sarıoğlu said in his opinion as to the accusations that the text that Pişkin shared on the social media is of the nature of heavy criticism.

The Prosecutor gave his opinion in favor of the acquittal of Pişkin, saying that the post "does not contain a name, emblem, hallmark, or slogan of any terrorist organization, and does not contain a statement that includes a call for violence."

"The deed is not defined as an offense in the law"

Announcing its verdict, the court of appeal overturned the 30-month prison sentence for Pişkin, saying that "the deed attributed to Pişkin is not defined as an offense in the law."

The court also said that Pişkin has the right for compensation regarding the time he spent under detention and arrest. (AS/VK)


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