We, as international lawyers representing the undersigned organisations, were in Silivri (Turkey) to observe the continuation of the trial of our colleagues: 46 Kurdish lawyers and 3 members of their staff.
We summarise our concerns around the following issues;
The first hearing for this trial, which started in July 2012 in Istanbul, was monitored by these international lawyers also.
On the 6th November 2012 we observed the second hearing in Silivri/Istanbul.
The dominant issue for the court, the right to use the Kurdish language in defending the indictment charges was yet again denied. This was despite submissions advanced by the defence lawyers and the proposed new changes in the law by the ministry of justice relating to the use of the mother tongue in the law courts.
The right to use the mother tongue has been a central issue in this trial (as in other KCK trials). Its prohibition has recently led to hundreds of Kurdish prisoners joining unlimited hunger strikes in protest. Several of the hunger strikers have now reached their 58th day and are nearing death. On the 6th November we learnt that the lawyers on trial have also now joined the hunger strikes, as have another one thousand political prisoners. Continue reading