Following on from the observer delegation in October 2010, a further four representatives from the UK travelled to Diyarbakir to observe the continuation of the KCK trials, in which 151 Kurdish political leaders and human rights activists are facing charges of being members of an ‘illegal organisation’, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). The delegates, along with some 20 other international observers who had arrived for the trial, watched proceedings grind to a halt when the court refused the defendants the right to testify in Kurdish. They also found that the loose evidence against the defendants was based on telephone calls and email correspondence, and the Indictments had little clarity on precisely what many of the defendants were actually accused of. Fr. Joe Ryan, Chair of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Diocese of Westminster, Liberal Democrat politician and human rights activist Nasser Butt, human rights lawyer Sanya Karakaş and solicitor Omer Moore, Trott & Gentry Solicitors, formed the delegation and provided us with their observations on their return. Download the full report on the January hearings of the trial here: KCK Trial Delegation Report, January 2011
Read our press release: TRIAL OF KURDS ‘TURNS TABLES ON TURKEY’: 2nd UK DELEGATION TO MASS TRIAL REPORTS BACK
Lord Rea hosted a meeting in parliament soon after the return of the delegates. Read a report of the meeting here.
You can also read a follow-up report by Mithat Ishakoglu, who observed further KCK hearings on 2 and 3 August 2011.