TJA activist sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in jail

TJA activist Gülcihan Şimşek was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison over press releases and events she had attended.

The hearing of TJA (Free Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinên Azad, TJA) activist Gülcihan Şimşek was held at Diyarbakır 11th High Criminal Court on Wednesday. The female activist is accused of "being a member of a terrorist organization".

Şimşek did not attend the hearing where her lawyers were present. The prosecutor reiterated his opinion in the previous hearing, demanding to sentence Şimşek for "membership in a terrorist organization".

Lawyer Şivan Cemil Özen requested acquittal saying that the confidential witness statements did not reflect the truth and were not in accordance with the law.

Lawyer Cemile Turhallı Balsak said that her client’s activities should be evaluated within the framework of freedom of thought and expression and asked for an acquittal.

There is not a single evidence that could designate my client as a 'member of the organization’, lawyer Gulan Çağın Kaleli asserted. “Therefore, we demand her acquittal," she added.

The court board first sentenced Şimşek to 5 years in prison for "membership of a terrorist organization", then increased the sentence to 7 years and 6 months. Claiming that Şimşek was "a person prone to crime", the court ruled that there was no room for a penalty reduction.