TRIAL OF ACADEMICS: One Academic Sentenced to 15 Months, One Academic to 30 Months in Prison

TRIAL OF ACADEMICS: One Academic Sentenced to 15 Months, One Academic to 30 Months in Prison

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About the Trials of Academics

On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled “We will not be party to this crime” on behalf of the Academics for Peace initiative.

With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.

With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.

As of April 30, 2019, 610 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017, all the 187 academics whose cases were concluded have been sentenced to prison. 133 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison; 8 academics to 1 year and 6 months in prison; 16 academics to 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison; 17 academics to 2 years and 3 months in prison; six academics have been sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison; three academics have been sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison; and one academic to 3 years in prison.

The suspension of the pronouncement of the verdict

Until today, 12 academics have not accepted that the announcement of their verdicts be deferred. While seven of these academics have been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison, one academic has been sentenced to 1 year and 6 months, one academic to 2 years and 3 months, one academic to 2 years and 6 months and one academic to 3 years in prison. The verdict of one academic has not been pronounced by the court yet.

The court board of the 36th Heavy Penal Court has reduced the prison sentences of academics who did not demand the suspension of the pronouncement of their verdicts and deferred their sentences on a 2-year probation. The 32nd Heavy Penal Court has made reductions in the sentences; however, it has not deferred them. The 37th Heavy Penal Court has neither reduced nor deferred the pronouncement of the verdicts.

Three academics were not asked about whether they requested the suspension of the pronouncement of their verdicts. While one of these three academics has been sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison, one of them has been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months and the other academic to 2 year and 3 months in prison.

The prison sentences of academics, the announcement of whose verdicts has not been suspended since their sentence is over two years, will be taken to the court of appeal. The court of appeal will either uphold or reverse the verdict.

On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime” was published. The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the statement for press, were arrested on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law. They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of “insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government.”

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