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Back Activities Alert Archive URGENT ALERT UPDATE: PRISONERS OF FAITH - TURKEY

URGENT ALERT UPDATE: PRISONERS OF FAITH - TURKEY

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Mehmet Ali Tecin and defendants in the 'Umut' case, sentenced. Nureddin Sirin, moved to high security isolation unit.


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Islamic Human Rights Commission

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12th January 2002



URGENT ALERT UPDATE: PRISONERS OF FAITH - TURKEY



1. Mehmet Ali Tecin and defendants in the 'Umut' case, sentenced.

2. Nureddin Sirin, moved to high security isolation unit.



1. Mehmet Ali Tecin and defendants in the 'Umut' case, sentenced.



18 Defendants in the so-called 'Umut' case were sentenced on Monday 7th January 2002. The defendants include Mehmet Ali Tecin a former journalist from the Muslim newspaper Selam. Originally arrested for the murder of Ugur Mumcu, Tecin's charge was changed a month after his arrest last year for lack of evidence. His charge was changed to membership of an illegal organisation Selam-Tevhid.



Selam-Tevhid is the publishing house that printed Selam newspaper. It was closed down and banned in 2000. Its journalists have been persecuted over many years.



Tecin was sentenced to 12 and half years imprisonment. Another 10 of the group were similarly found guilty and sentenced under Article 168/2. IHRC and other human rights agencies are aware that the defendants in this case were tortured. The case against Tecin seems to be clearly a case of persecution against writers espousing Muslim identity and politics. Other journalists from Selam have faced similar cases including Aydin Koral, Huda Kaya, Gul Aslan, Nurchihan Saatcioglu, Nureddin Sirin, Simurg Alpetkin have all been arrested and harassed over the last 5 years (see previous IHRC Turkey alerts).



The other ten sentenced to 12 and half years are:

Abdulhamit CELIK

Muzaffer DAJDEVIREN

Faih AYDIN

Mehmet SAHIH

Talip ÖZGELIK

Hakki SELCUKSANLI

Mehmet KASSAP

Mehmed CAHOVA

Adil AYDIN

Murat NAZLI



Four others were also sentenced for their association with Selam-Tevhid:



Hasan KILIC, 18 years under Article 168/1 (found guilty of being the leader of Selam)

Yusuf KARAKUS, 15 years under 186 / 2 (membership)

Dervis POLAT and Yüksel PEKDEMIR, 3 years under Article 169 for supplying aid to Selam-Tevhid.





Three others were found guilty under Article 146 trying to change the secular nature of Turkey and sentenced to death. They are from another group known as Kudüs Savascilari (Quds Fighters). They are Ferhan ÖZMEN, Necdez YÜKSEL, Rüszü AYZUFAN.



Requested Action



Please write to the Turkish Ambassador in your country protesting the unfair trial of the Selam-Tevhid defendants, and demanding their unconditional release. Please also write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in your country. Specimen letters are available on request from IHRC.



UK campaigners should write to:



HE Mr Korkmaz Haktanir

Turkish Embassy

43 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8PA

info@turkishembassy-london.com





Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP
Foreign Secretary

FCO

King Charles Street

London

SW1A 2AH



Please also send letters of support to Mehemt Ali TECIN and the other Selam-Tevhid prisoners. They are being held at Eskisehir Özel Tipi Cezaevi, Turkey.





2. Nureddin Sirin, moved to high security isolation unit.



Nureddin Sirin was sentenced to 17 and half years imprisonment in 1997 for supplying photographs to a Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) protest in Sincan.



He was previously held at Bandirma Prison, several hours from his family in Istanbul. He has been transferred to a high security F-Type Prison near Bursa. Please send letters of support to him at:



Bolu F Tipi Cezaevi

Blok 13/2

Turkey



Please send letters to the Turkish Ambassador in your country demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Nureddin Sirin. Please also write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country requesting his office's intercession in this case to demand the release of Nureddin Sirin and other prisoners of faith in Turkey.[END]


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