Celik was imprisoned for "terrorist propaganda" for having said, "Don't let children die," in a TV program. The Constitutional Court has ruled that her right to freedom of expression is violated.
Teacher Ayse Celik has been released from the Type-E Prison in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir after the Constitutional Court verdict.
She was sent to prison on April 17 for having said, "Children are dying, mothers are dying here, do not keep silent," in a TV program in 2016.
A bill of indictment was filed against her on the charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization."
The top court ruled yesterday (May 9) that Celik's right to freedom of expression is violated.
"Precedent for Academics for Peace and TTB doctors"
Celik's attorney Benan Molu made a statement on Twitter on the verdict, saying that this is the first time the first verdict of violation of the right to press freedom that the Constitutional Court made on a case on the charge of terrorist propaganda.
Celik's other attorney, Mahsuni Kahraman, said that the verdict establishes a precedent for the Academics for Peace and the doctors from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) who were given prison term for a declaration they published.
Celik was sentenced for "what she did not say"
Human rights defender Sanar Yurdatapan said to bianet that Celik was sentenced to prison not because of what she said but because of what she did not say.
"Both in the Constitutional Court verdict and in the news articles about this subject, there is an important mistake: Ayse Celik was tried for her words that wanted peace but she was not sentenced because of these words. The sentence was given on the ground of, 'Why didn't you say that?'. This was considered as terrorist propaganda.
"The verdict of the Constitutional Court did not view this point and it emphasizes that Ayse's words are within the scope of the freedom of expression," Yurdatapan said.
He also noted that the verdict may establish a precedent for the Academics for Peace and the TTB doctors.
Justification of the verdict
The top court said in its justification that Ayse Celik's freedom of expression which is guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution is violated and a copy of the verdict shall be sent to the BakirkAly 2nd Heavy Penal Court for a retrial.
It also ruled that 5,500 Turkish liras (~900 US dollars) of compensation shall be paid to Celik.
A lawsuit was filed against Ayse Celik on the charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for her statements on Beyaz Show TV program aired on Kanal D. Ayse Celik joined the program on January 8, 2016, and said, "Children are dying, mothers are dying here, do not keep silent."
She was put on trial due to these remarks and sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison on the offense charged. The 15-month prison sentence given to Celik was upheld on October 2, 2018.
On April 20, 2018, Ayse Celik was imprisoned with her six-month-old daughter Deran, who was then sent to her grandmother due to the unfavorable prison conditions. Ayse Celik was released on May 4 and her prison sentence was deferred to October 31.
Source: English Bianet