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EXTRA 48/93 - Turkey: legal concern: Dogu Perincek

, Index number: EUR 44/046/1993

On 15 January 1993 Dogu Perincek was convicted and sentenced to two years' imprisonment at Ankara State Security Court for having made "separatist propaganda" during the 1991 election campaign. His appeal against the verdict will be heard on 26 May. If the sentence is confirmed and he is reimprisoned, Dogu Perincek, 50, a former prisoner of conscience and Chairman of the Workers' Party (Isci Partisi), will again be considered a prisoner of conscience. He has been the subject of many court cases for the non-violent expression of his political views

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 44/46/93
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 48/93 Legal Concern 19 May 1993
TURKEY: Do_u Perinçek, Chairman of Workers' Party (__çi Partisi)
Amnesty International is concerned that Do_u Perinçek, a former prisoner of
conscience, may be imprisoned again, if the Court of Appeal confirms a
two-year prison sentence imposed for the non-violent expression of his
political views.
During the election campaign in the autumn of 1991, Do_u Perinçek gave many
speeches and interviews and participated in a discussion on television as the
then leader of the Socialist Party (Sosyalist Parti) which was closed down
in July 1992. Two separate court cases were launched against him as a
consequence, the first in December 1991 and the second in September 1992. The
charge, in both trials, under Article 8/1 of the Anti-Terror Law, was
"making separatist propaganda" on a number of occasions during the election
campaign. In a televised discussion Do_u Perinçek, referring to the ongoing
conflict in the Kurdish southeast, said: "We cannot have unity by force. We
can only achieve unity by recognizing and accepting the wishes of the Kurdish
people with good will and in a spirit of brotherhood." The trials in Ankara
State Security Court were later combined and the verdict was pronounced on
15 January 1993: Do_u Perinçek was convicted and sentenced to two years'
imprisonment and a fine of 50 million Turkish Lira (approx. £ 3,500).
Defence and prosecution appealed against the verdict, the prosecutor seeking
separate sentences for each of the dozen or so occasions on which the defendant
had made separatist propaganda. Theoretically, this would give a total sentence
of over twenty years' imprisonment. The appeal will be heard on 26 May.
During his long career in politics and publishing, Do_u Perinçek, now aged
50, has been the subject of innumerable court cases. Although acquitted in
many of these, he was convicted in others and served sentences for "making
communist propaganda" in the years following the military coup of 1980. He
was then adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. In a
more recent trial before Ankara State Security Court, Do_u Perinçek was
acquitted on the charge of making separatist propaganda, for a press conference
held with the leader of the People's Labour Party (HEP) in March 1992. However,
the prosecutor has appealed against the decision and the appeal is currently
pending. If convicted in any of these cases, Do_u Perinçek would not only be
imprisoned, but would also be barred from standing for parliament or leading
a political party.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Turkey has a Kurdish ethnic minority which is estimated to number some 10 million
people, living mainly in southeastern Turkey. Since August 1984, when guerrillas
of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) started armed attacks against the security
forces, more than 5,000 lives have been lost on both sides and among the civilian
population in the context of their fight for
an independent Kurdish state. In mid-March 1993 the PKK declared a unilateral
ceasefire and its intention to end the fighting and to enter the democratic
process as a political party. A state of emergency is in force in 10 provinces
in the region and the Emergency Legislation Governor in Diyarbakir has
extraordinary powers over three additional provinces.
Page 2 of EXTRA 48/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Do_u Perinçek, a former prisoner of conscience,
may be imprisoned again if the Court of Appeal confirms on 26 May 1993 the
conviction of 15 January 1993 by Ankara State Security Court;
- noting that this conviction for the non-violent expression of Do_u Perinçek's
political views is in contravention of Article 10 of the European Convention
on Human Rights to which Turkey is a State Party;
- appealing for the abolition of Article 8/1 of the Anti-Terror Law which
allows for the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience in violation of their
right to freedom of expression;
- expressing the hope that on 26 May the Appeal Court will quash the verdict
of Ankara State Security Court.
APPEALS TO
1) President:
Mr Süleyman Demirel
Office of the President
Devlet Ba_kanl___
06100 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: President Demirel, Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 44 68 50 12 (via Press Office)
Telexes: 42303 kosk tr
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) Minister of Justice:
Mr Seyfi Oktay
Ministry of Justice
Adalet Bakanl___
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Telegrams: Seyfi Oktay, Adalet Bakanligi, Ankara, Turkey
Faxes: +90 44 25 40 66
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
President of the Appeal Court
Mr _smet Ocakç_o_lu
Yarg_tay Ba_kanl___
K_z_lay-Ankara, Turkey
President of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission
Mr Sabri Yavuz
_nsan Haklar_ Ara_t_rma Komisyonu Ba_kan_
TBMM
Ankara, Turkey
and to diplomatic representatives of Turkey accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 16 June 1993.

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