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Information Note, October 2, 2003
The current situation of the trials against the staff members of the HRFT Izmir Center is as follows:
- The trial opened against Dr. Alp Ayan on the ground of the Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code will be held at the Izmir Heavy Penal Court No. 5 on 22 October 2003 at 9:30 a.m.
In 2001, a group of human defenders, including Dr. Alp Ayan the psychiatrist and staff member of HRFT Izmir Center, made a press statement. It was in order to protest the prison operations and human rights violations taking place in the F-Type Prisons. In the press statement under consideration, it was stated that the prison operations were a massacre and that the Ministry of Justice as well as the gendarmeries were responsible for this. Izmir Public Prosecution office regarded such expressions as insulting to the Ministry of Justice and the Military Forces of the State (gendarmeries); then, opened a trial against Dr. Alp Ayan and other defendants on the ground of violating the Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code. The trial was first held at the Heavy Penal Court. Then, the trial was conveyed to the Penal Court of First Instance after the Heavy Penal Court declared that the case is beyond its jurisdiction, by taking into account the latest amendment made in the Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code (according to the amendment, the article under consideration has been removed from the jurisdiction of the Heavy Penal Court). Based upon the fact that the amendment took place after the offense was committed, the Penal Court of First Instance, on the other hand, claimed that the case is under the jurisdiction of the Heavy Penal Court. Henceforth, the case was conveyed to the Supreme Court on 24 April 2003 for the jurisdictional conflict to be solved.
Having evaluated the file during this period of time, the Supreme Court adjudicated that the Heavy Penal Court should be the one responsible for hearing the case. The case will be heard at the Izmir Heavy Penal Court of First Instance No. 5 on 22 October 2003 at 9:30 am.
- The trial opened against Alp Ayan on the ground of the Article 2911 of the Turkish Penal Code will be held at the Izmir Penal Court of First Instance No. 8 on 27 October 2003 at 09:55 am.
It is known that various trials opened against numerous human rights defenders, including Dr. Alp Ayan, by reason of the press statements and protest demonstrations in response to the prison operations in December 2000, and human rights violations taking place in the F-Type prisons during the forthcoming period. Some of these trials have been opened on the ground of the Article 2911 of the Turkish Penal Code, which is on charge of conducting an illegal demonstration and marching. There have been 16 trials opened against Dr. Alp Ayan on the ground of same article. Having been heard at the Penal Courts of First Instance, most of these trials have resulted in an acquittal. In the same way, 14 of the 16 trials opened against Dr. Alp Ayan have resulted in an acquittal. As to the trial heard at the Heavy Penal Court of First Instance No. 8 in the remaining ongoing on, however, the Public Prosecutor, at the last hearing, claimed Dr. Alp Ayan to be sentenced. The next hearing for verdict will be heard on 27 October 2003 at 09:55 am.
- The trial continuing against Dr. Alp Ayan, Gunseli Kaya and Esin Kaya on the ground of the Article 2911 of the Turkish Penal Code at the Aliaga Penal Court of First Instance will be heard on 14 November 2003 at 10:00 am.
Representatives and members of trade unions, chambers, associations and political parties, among which Dr. Alp Ayan, Gunseli Kayan and Esin Kaya the staff members of the HRFT Imizr Center taken place, gathered in Aliaga to take part in the funeral of Nevzat Ciftci, the prisoner who was killed during the massacre in Ankara Ulucanlar Prison on 26September 1999. Among the participants, 68 were beaten, arrested and detained; and 14 of them, including Dr. Alp Ayan and Gunseli Kayan were imprisoned for about 4 months on the charge of violating the Article 2911 of the Turkish Penal Code. Having continued for 4 years, the trial has come to a stage that the prosecution office is to give a dictum in regard to the essence. However, during the last hearing on 26 September 2003, the anniversary of the massacre in Ulucanlar Prison, the hearing was again adjourned for some of the deficiencies of the file to be got rid of. The next hearing will be heard at the Aliaga Penal Court of First Instance on 14 November 2003 at 10:00 am.
Among the trials that we have mentioned above, the first one will be held very recently. Since we have been informed about the decision of the Supreme Court, we have unfortunately not found opportunity to notify you beforehand. Considering the recent phase of the trial, the court may reach to its verdict either in this hearing or in the forthcoming one. If one remembers, Dr. Alp Ayan was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on the charge of violating the Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code, which was then postponed by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Besides, another file of Dr. Alp Ayan, which he has been tried on the ground of the Article 159 of the TPC again and from which was has been sentenced, has been waiting for the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
As to the trials, both the ones to be heard on 22 and 27 October and the one expecting the Supreme Court to reach its verdict, the previously postponed sentences would be executed in the case new sentences come to the fore. For this particular reason, the support and solidarity shown towards both of the hearings have a considerable importance. Together with this, we are aware of the fact that this may cause you an inconvenience like scheduling and etc, considering both the limited time ahead and the subsequence of the forthcoming hearings.
As to the hearing to be heard on 14 November 2003, on the other hand, one or two hearings would be realized for our friends to make their final defense and for the court to reach its verdict in case the prosecutor gives a dictum. Therefore, for this trial, we will demand on delegation not for this one but for the defensive and final hearings.
As a result, we would like to inform you on this issue with our trust in the continuance of our solidarity environment.
With best regards,
Chairman of the HRFT