Hearing of experts at trial against Mirza B.

Next week, the trial against Kurdish activist Mirza B. will continue before the Munich Higher Regional Court. The academic councilor at the University of Bamberg will be questioned as an expert witness on the situation of the Kurds in Turkey.

Next Tuesday, May 24, the 129b trial against Kurdish activist Mirza B. will be continued before the State Protection Senate at the Munich Higher Regional Court. The 36-year-old, who was arrested in May of last year, is accused of alleged membership in a "terrorist" organization abroad - in this case the PKK. The trial kicked off last Friday.

A hearing of the academic councillor of the University of Bamberg, Dr. Ellinor Morack, on the situation of the Kurds in Turkey, is scheduled for the upcoming trial day. The expert will answer questions from the parties to the proceedings on the political situation in Turkey, particularly with regard to the repression against Kurds. The aim is to shed light on the personal background of the defendant and the political environment in which he grew up. The Cologne-based Rechtshilfefonds Azadî e.V., which is accompanying the proceedings in Munich, stated: "Consideration of these aspects is essential for an evaluation of the political activities of defendants like Mirza B." Not least for these reasons, the defense is calling for the proceedings to be discontinued.

As in all similar proceedings, the trial against Mirza B. is not about individual criminal acts. Rather, a political conviction is in the dock. The basis is the controversial ban on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) of 1993 and the authorization of the Federal Ministry of Justice to prosecute functionaries from 2011. Attorney Yunus Ziyal from Nuremberg, defense counsel for the defendant, doubts - like many other lawyers - that this politically motivated authorization can be maintained in view of the developments in Turkey. At the moment, the PKK is also trying to have the ban on its activities lifted. An application to this effect, which was submitted to the Federal Ministry of the Interior last week, has been prepared by the Berlin lawyers Lukas Theune and Peer Stolle.

Munich International: Mirza is a political prisoner

The group München International, which critically observes and accompanies the trial against Mirza B., joins the demand for a lifting of the PKK ban in Germany and shows solidarity with the Kurdish activist. "This may be about applicable law, but we doubt that it is about justice. Mirza is not a criminal, but a political prisoner," explained a member of the group. "This is a political trial, it is about intimidation and repression against the Kurdish freedom movement. Instead of continuing the criminalization, a dialogue must finally be initiated so that there can be a peace process between the PKK and the Turkish state."

Titel photo: Offenes Treffen gegen Krieg und Militarisierung Stuttgart