Supreme Court of Appeals Upholds Acquittal for ‘Freedom to Öcalan’ Petition

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The 8th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld the verdict of acquittal which was previously given by the local court for the statement, "Freedom to resisting and unyielding Dear Abdullah Öcalan [imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)]."

In solidarity with their friend Cemal Bozkurt, who was tried on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" at the İstanbul 16th Heavy Penal Court, convicts Muhammet Akyol, Vedat Düşküner and Baysal Demirhan, who were held in Tekirdağ Type F Prison on a different charge, submitted a petition to the court, stating "We commit the same crime with Bozkurt."

Upon the notice of the court, the trials of three convicts began in 2012. Three years later, the local court gave a verdict of acquittal for Akyol, Düşküner and Demirhan on the ground that "the elements of the crime did not arise."

Upon the objection of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to their acquittal, the case files of Akyol, Düşküner and Demirhan were referred to the Supreme Court of Appeals. In its judgement dated February 9, 2019, the 8th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the verdict which was given by the local court in favor of freedom of expression.

Lawyer Aksu: "Trace amount" of justice leak

Speaking to bianet, İnayet Aksu, the lawyer of the case, has stated that "in the current state of affairs where charges and sentences for terror propaganda are so common, he has found the verdict of the Supreme Court of Appeals just and libertarian." Aksu has further defined the verdict "as a 'trace amount' of justice leak despite the mentality and extensive interventions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

Remarks in the petition

Akyol, Düşküner and Demirhan, whoso acquittal has become definite and are still held in Tekirdağ Type F Prison on anti-constitutional charges, made the following statements in their petition:

"Dear Abdullah Öcalan is the leader of the resisting Kurdish Movement, PKK. We are saluting Dear Abdullah Öcalan, who shows resistance in the cause of honorable peace and freedom of the Kurdish people even in the dungeons of İmralı island. Dear Abdullah Öcalan should be released immediately, freedom to Abdullah Öcalan!

"Dear Öcalan is the leader of the Kurdish people and the PKK, who resist against all types of atrocity inflicted by the fascist, Kemalist dictatorship and never yield. Despite the torture of very severe and special isolation, Dear Abdullah Öcalan has been resisting in the İmralı island, where he has been held captive for 13 years." (TP/SD)

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