Prison sentence for Kurdish journalist Özgür Amed condemned

Kurdish journalist and writer Özgür Amed has recently been sentenced to 3 years, 1 month and 15 days in prison.

Kurdish journalist and writer Özgür Amed has recently been sentenced to 3 years, 1 month and 15 days in prison. Amed was accused of having participated in a demo in Amed in protest against the Roboski massacre on 31 December 2011, three days after the savage killing of 34 Kurdish civilians by Turkish warplanes in Roboski village in Uludere district of Şırnak.

Özgür Amed, a pen name that means “Free Amed (Diyarbakır)”, is a colomnist for papers Özgür Gündem and Yeni Özgür Politika. The conviction issued by Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Court, which accused him of violating the Turkish Penal Code Article 220/6 for “committing an illegal organization crime while not being an illegal organization member”, was approved by Court of Cessation on 21 February.

The prison sentence for Kurdish journalist was approved despite three police officers who were on duty on the day of the incident and said in their testimony to Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Court that “he was among those dispersing after the demo but was not witnessed assaulting the security forces”.

In a press briefing condemning the prison sentence for the Kurdish colomnist, Mazlum Der Amed Branch stressed that the Roboski massacre, an exemplary incident for Turkey and Kurds, still remained unsolved despite three years having passed and the perpetrators being known.

Mazlum-Der continued by recalling that the mainstream media had remained blind and deaf for a long time after the massacre while also distorting the truths and alleging the victims as guilty.

The statement by Mazlum Der pointed out that at this stage the unfair prison sentence imposed on Özgür Amed by Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Cour and Court of Cessation was not surprising at all in consideration of the practices that the Turkish state has executed since after the massacre through various institutions.

Mazlum Der said the prison sentence was not independent from the classical mentality of the state and condemned the state's attitude regarding the Roboski massacre.

Mazlum Der ended the statement by urging the Turkish state to confess the Roboski Massacre and apologize, to immediately initiate an administrative and legal process against perpetrators, to ensure the release of Özgür Amed who was sentenced without any concrete evidences, and to amend the Article 220/6 of the Turkish Penal Code which has caused an unjust treatment of Özgür Amed and many others.