Two Students Under Custody Since 2009, Despite Lack of Evidence
Two university students, who were arrested during a demonstration will remain in prison as the the prosecution fail to show any evidence for allegations against them. Another student, who had been a symbol of freedom of expression violations against the youth, is condemned to 20 months in prison.
İstanbul - BİA Haber Merkezi
21 December 2011, Wednesday 16:13
University students Baran Nayır and Ali Deniz Kılıç, who are tried under custody since two years for "being a member to an armed organization", remains in prison following yesterday's hearing.
Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court ruled that there is a strong suspicion of crime against the defendants, despite the lack of concrete evidence.
The lawyer of two students, Ercan Kanar requested their release, referring to the forensics report stating that their finger prints were not found on the molotov cocktail that the prosecution alleges for their participation in a conflict during a street demonstration.
Both students are members to the Socialist Democracy Party (SDP).
Previous public prosecutor to the case demanded the release of the defendants but his successor requested that they remain under custody. At the fifth hearing since their arrest two years ago, the court postponed the case until 3 April 2012.
In 6 December 2009, Nayır and Kılıç were arrested during a demonstration in Istanbul organized by the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) -which had been later closed by the Constitutional Court.
On that day, the police intervened to the crowd, restricting them from making a public statement. Two students are tried with prison time up to 29 years.
During the trial, Nayır and Kılıç were dispelled from their universities for absenteeism. Yet, they entered the university exams and enrolled once again.
20 months prison for a placard
On another account, Berna Yılmaz, is condemned to 20 months in prison after she participated at a Women's Day demonstration in Ankara. She carried placards that read "Women are not slaves of men nor power".
The court acquitted Yılmaz and five others on allegations of "being a member to a terrorist organization" but condemned them for "propaganda of a terrorist organization".
Yılmaz, who had remained under custody for 19 months after she and her friend opened a placard that read "We want free education" during a meeting of PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
She and Ferhat Tüzer had become a symbol for the oppression of dissident university students and the violations of freedom of expression.
Both students are still on trial for that incident. (AS-NV/EÜ)