Saturday, 26 May 2012

Leyla Zana continues to be persecuted by Turkish Government.

The Blog Nationalia  by Ciemen which covers news of National Movements and Stateless Nations carries a report that Kurdish MP Leyla Zana has again been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of terrorism, Zana has been sentenced by a criminal court in Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish). Judges consider that some speeches delivered by Zana in 2007 and 2008 prove that she is a member of the banned organization Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Zana's lawyer Fethi Gümüş rejected the charges and argued that if she had been a member of PKK she couldn't have been elected in Turkey's legislative election in 2011.

The Kurdish politician will not enter prison while she is a member of the Turkish Parliament, a post that grants immunity. Next legislative election in Turkey is set for 2015.

I have blogged on ZAna and the Kurdish stuggle  before and reported that While taking the oath of loyalty in  a previous parliament, she  caused an uproar  after adding the following sentence in Kurdish to her parliamentary oath during the swearing-in ceremony in 1994:

"I take this oath for the brotherhood of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples".

Imagine  a Plaid MP adding this to the Oath of Loyality in Westminster or an AM in Cardiff. The Tabloid press may have gone to town and call for their expulsion . But that would be it. 

Because of her stand  in March 1994, the Turkish Parliament voted to lift the immunity of Zana and five other Kurdish DEP members: and they  were sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Supreme Court.

In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Turkey after a review of her trial; although Turkey did not recognize the result, in 2003 a new harmonization law permitted retrials based on ECHR decisions. In 2002, a film named The Back of the World, directed by Spanish-Peruvian filmmaker Javier Corcuera, examined her case. In April 2004, in a trial which the defendants frequently boycotted, their convictions and sentences were reaffirmed. In June 2004, after a prosecutor requested quashing the prior verdict on a technicality, the High Court of Appeals ordered Zana and the others released.

Since then she has constantly charged with offenses that we would have regarded as quite legitimate or simply controversial but part of free speech in our own democracy.

I don't know Leyla Zana position of the terrorist action of the PKK but then I don't accept that the Turkish Government does either..

The Kurds are the probably the most ignored peoples of the World . Denied their Home state largely due to British interferometry in the middle East. They may have virtual Independence in Iraq but cannot declare it because Turkey the ally of the Western Powers oppose this .

It is a disgrace that Turkey is using anti-terrorism  laws to silence the Democtatic voice of the Kurdish people and the UK government should tell Turkey that this is unacceptable behaviour ob behald of a susposedly democracy.

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