Call for International Academic Observers to the Trial against the “Academics for Peace”, Istanbul, 22nd April 2016
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Since March 2016, four of our colleagues – Professors Esra Mungan Gürsoy, Meral Camcı, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya – are being held in pre-trial detention, accused of terrorist propaganda under Article 7/2 of Anti-Terrorism Law.
The official indictment refers to the original petition “We will not be a party to this crime” of 11th January 2016 as well as a press statement which the four read out on 10th March 2016. This press statement was delivered by Academics for Peace Istanbul to draw attention to the extent of the repressions which have unraveled against the signees since the original petition, especially to the disciplinary investigations, dismissals, forced resignations and the legal prosecutions. Now, they are facing a sentence from 1,5 to 7,5 years imprisonment.
While there is a chance that our colleagues could be released out of imprisonment in this first hearing, which would set a sign for the rest of the trial, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan most recently declared that our colleagues should “remain in prison throughout the trial” because they were “guilty”.
But, Demanding Peace is no Crime!
On 22nd April 2016, not only our four colleagues are on trial, but freedom of expression in Turkey as such! For, the trial against journalists Erdem Gül and Can Dündar has been scheduled for the same date. We stand in solidarity with all those raising their voices for peace and democracy because we, too, share the same dream and demand!
We, therefore, call for international observers to the first hearing on 22nd April, 2016 before the 13th High Criminal Court, Çağlayan Courthouse, Istanbul at 2:00 PM. Your presence in court will not only give a strong sign of support for peace, democracy, and freedom of expression in Turkey, but will also have a positive effect on the fairness of the trial.
ACADEMICS FOR PEACE