TURKEY DEMANDS DEATH PENALTY FOR 'SONG OF FREDDOM' POET AGED 18

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Below please find the report of the IHRC legal observer into the trial of Huda Kaya and 74 other peaceful demonstrators charged with trying to overthrow the Turkish constitution by force.

 

Press release
7.7.99

TURKEY DEMANDS DEATH PENALTY FOR 'SONG OF FREDDOM' POET AGED 18

Below please find the report of the IHRC legal observer into the trial of Huda Kaya and 74 other peaceful demonstrators charged with trying to overthrow the Turkish constitution by force.

One of those charged is Gulan Intisaar Saatcioglu an 18 year old high school student. The evidence against her is the writing and recitation of the poem 'Song of Freedom' (Appendix 1) outside the Governor's building during the demonstration. Together with Kaya and 49 of the others, if found guilty she faces the death penalty. The youngest of this group is 15 years old.

According to the observer:

"…the Turkish authority is in contravention with the European Convention of Human Rights, to which it is a signatory. Further they also breached several other articles with regards to freedom of expression, due process, political and educational rights. The overall impression of the proceedings was that of a macabre farce. Indeed elements of the proceedings were plainly ridiculous, and in particular evidence cited against the defendants have no basis except to create prejudice in the minds of public to whom the press would report the issue in a limited manner.”

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 181 902 0888, mobile (+44) 958 522 196, e-mail: ihrc@dial.pipex.com.