Teachers Protesting Discharges Arrested Again on the Charge They Were Acquitted Before

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  • February 26, 2019
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“The 83rd week of our resistance; we resist for our job, bread and honor.”

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Teachers Nursel Tanrıverdi and Selvi Polat, who were discharged by a Statutory Decree during the State of Emergency and have been protesting the discharges since then at Bakırköy Square in İstanbul, have been arrested on charge of “organizing an unlawful assembly and protest march.”

Two teachers were previously arrested on the same charge and acquitted on February 14, 2019. In its related ruling, the court also lifted “the ban on approaching the square more than 200 meters.”

Teachers were arrested this time for not abiding by the “ban on approaching the Bakırköy Square more than 100 meters.”

“They stated that they would not comply with the ban”

In the ruling of the Bakırköy 1st Penal Judgeship of Peace dated February 25, the reasons of arrest were indicated as follows:

“Considering the nature of the charged offence of ‘organizing, leading, attending unlawful assemblies and protest demonstrations’ and the existence of evidence which points to strong criminal suspicion that the suspects committed the charged offence;

“And on the ground that the judicial control measures will not suffice and that the suspects did not comply and stated that they would not comply with the judicial control measure of not approaching Bakırköy Square more than 100 meters, which was imposed by the Bakırköy 2nd Penal Judgeship of Peace on February 5, 2019; it has been ruled that they shall be arrested.”

What happened?

Teachers Nursel Tanrıverdi and Selvi Polat, who were discharged by a Statutory Decree, have been staging protests with the slogan “We want our job” at the Bakırköy Square in İstanbul on every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday since January 20, 2017. Since the day when they started their protests, they have been taken into custody for many times.

In the 74th week of their protests, the teachers were detained again. Though they were released on probation after being taken into custody, in the verdict of the court, there was a sentence, stating that Tanrıverdi and Polat were banned from approaching the square more than 200 meters.

The teachers stated that they would not recognize the ban and attempted to make a statement for the press at the Bakırköy Square on August 13, 2018. During the statement, the teachers were taken into custody again and an international travel ban was imposed on them.

After Tanrıverdi and Polat tried to make another statement for the press, they were arrested on August 21, 2018. Teachers were released on September 6 after being arrested for almost two weeks. The ban of not approaching the square more than 200 meters was also lifted by the court.

While the teachers were acquitted of the charge brought against them due to their protests on February 14, the Bakırköy 2nd Penal Judgeship of Peace has previously imposed a ban of not approaching Bakırköy Square more than 100 meters on February 5, 2019. (AS/SD)