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Turkey: Dogu Perincek: politician faces imprisonment for peace appeal

, Index number: EUR 44/058/1995

In the autumn of 1991, while taking part in a televised discussion programme concerning the conflict in the Kurdish South-East of Turkey, Dogu Perincek, Chairman of the Workers' Party, argued, "We cannot have unity by force. We can only achieve unity by recognising and accepting the wishes of the Kurdish people with good will and in a spirit of brotherhood". These 'separatist' remarks prompted a lengthy prosecution against him, which has now led to a three-year prison sentence due to commence in June 1995. AI is appealing to the Turkish authorities to ensure that Dogu Perincek does not once more become a prisoner of conscience, and for a revision of Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law so that people can no longer be imprisoned for the non-violent expression of their views.

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