Chomsky’s message on trial against Academics for Peace in Turkey
Noam Chomsky has sent a message of solidarity with the academics who stand trial for signing a petition that called for an end to violence and resumption of peace negotiations in Turkey.
The trial against 148 Academics for Peace will begin tomorrow.
American linguist, social scientist and human rights campaigner Noam Chomsky has sent a message of solidarity with the academics who stand trial after becoming a target of the AKP/MHP government of Turkey for signing a petition that called for an end to violence and resumption of peace negotiations in Turkey.
Entitled “We won’t be a party to this crime”, the petition urged Ankara to “abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region”.
1,128 academics from 89 universities in Turkey, and over 355 academics and researchers from abroad signed the petition.
The indictment accuses the academics of “terrorist propaganda”, “inciting people to hatred, violence and breaking the law” and “insulting Turkish institutions and the Turkish Republic.” If convicted, the academics could face between one and five years in prison.
The solidarity message of Noam Chomsky for Academics for Peace is as follows:
“The penal case against the signers of the Academics for Peace petition is a shocking miscarriage of justice, which friends of the Turkish people can only view with dismay. The wording of the indictment, throughout, makes it clear that the case is an assault against fundamental rights of free expression that should be zealously safeguarded. To take only one example, the signers are accused of calling on the government “to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage.” These are entirely reasonable appeals, quite standard in free societies, and very natural and praiseworthy on the part of concerned citizens. Those who feel that the petition misrepresents facts have ample opportunity to respond in a civilized manner. There is nothing in the petition that supports terrorism in the slightest way. The tortured attempt of the prosecution to distort a principled appeal for peace and justice into support for terrorism should not be tolerated in a society that values freedom and basic human rights.”