On the 14 September of this year a judgement was handed down in the case of a group of Kurdish activists who faced trial on terrorism charges in Belgium. The defendants were acquitted as the court found that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation but rather a party to an internal armed conflict in Turkey.
This case in the Belgian Court of Appeal centred around the Defence proposition that the activities which the prosecution relied on to make out a case of terrorism occurred in the context of an internal armed conflict in Turkey and should therefore be governed by the rules of international humanitarian law rather than domestic terror provisions.
The question that fell to be considered by the court was whether or not the PKK was involved in an armed conflict in Turkey. If it was, then the domestic criminal law of Belgium would not apply and the matter would be subject to the Geneva Conventions, in international law. Continue reading