The Trial of Kurds in Diyarbakir

The court case against 151 Kurdish defendants, 103 of them detained, has started in Diyarbakır. Several members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and executives of non-governmental organizations such as the Human Rights Association (İHD) are incriminated in the trial.

Police raids on 14 April 2009 after the local elections on 29 March 2009 resulted in the first wave of arrests.

The indictment comprises a total of 7,500 pages. Some of the defendants are facing life sentences, others imprisonment of up to 15 years. They are indicted with “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country”, “membership and leadership of a terrorist organization” or “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization”.

The prosecution charges the defendants with “membership of the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan/Turkish Assembly (KCT/TM) as the urban organization of the PKK”, the Kurdistan Workers Party.

Among the defendants are 28 executives of the dissolved pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), twelve mayors including Osman Baydemir, Metropolitan Mayor of Diyarbakır, two Chairs of Provincial Assemblies and two municipality council members.

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