Turkey: Singer Pınar Sağ ten months in prison for praising revolutionary leader

NEWS

Turkey:
Singer Pınar Sağ sentenced to ten months in prison

On 27 January 2011, Turkish folk music singer Pınar Sağ was sentenced to ten months in prison for praising leftist revolutionary Ibrahim Kaypakkaya at the 2009 Traditional 9th Munzur Natur and Culture Festival in Dersim, reported Bianet.org

Pınar Sağ was facing a prison sentence of up to two years under article 215 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK). The speech she made at the festival allegedly contained comments ‘praising’ Kaypakkaya, founder of the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML) and the Turkish Workers’ Peasants’ Liberation Army (TIKKO). The revolutionary leader was tortured and killed in 1972.

Pınar Sağ did not attend the 27 January hearing. The Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court handed down a prison sentence of ten months to the singer.

One month sentence to Kurdish singer
On the same day, the same court sentenced Kurdish folk singer Ferhat Tunç to one month in prison on the grounds of “praising 17 militants, members of the Maoist Communist Party.” Read more…

Lawyers Association in defence of Sağ
The Istanbul Branch of the Contemporary Lawyers Association (CHD) declared in a written statement, “Freedom of thought and expression as guaranteed by the constitution and international agreements became once more the subject of a severe and open violation.”

The association expressed the opinion that the court decision on Pınar Sağ’s case was given “in defiance of all concrete and procedural rules of law.” The statement continued, “It is remarkable how the judiciary slowed down regarding the Hezbollah case and how much it sped up for the trial against Sağ. The Hezbollah defendants are being released while Sağ is being convicted.”

The association called for an end to the “judicial terror” and rulings that disregard freedom of thought and expression.

In reference to Kaypakkaya, who was the subject of the verdict, the association said, “Ibrahim Kaypakkaya was made the reason for this conviction. He was killed by torture on 18 May 1972 in Diyarbakir. There is not a single court decision decreeing that Kaypakkaya was guilty. To the contrary, Kaypakkaya does not owe anything to the judicial system but the system owes him.”

More information
IPS Communication Foundation
Istanbul, Turkey
bia (@) bianet.org
Phone: +90 212 2511503
bianet.org


UPDATE
15 March 2011

20 imprisoned for playing music praising PKK

On 15 March 2011, the 5th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakir, a provincial capital in the Kurdish-majority southeastern part of Turkey, sentenced 20 former members of the defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP) to imprisonment of one year on charges of “spreading propaganda for the PKK,” the illegal, armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Their sentences were later mitigated to ten months each due to good conduct.

The court claimed that “slogans supporting the organisation were chanted by people in the group that had gathered in front of the tent” and “music praising the organisation was played in the vicinity.”

The 20 defendants “did not do anything to prevent this development, made it run more smoothly and showed corresponding footage on an LCD screen,” the court stated.

The defendants were also tried on charges of “committing a crime on behalf of an organisation while not a member of the organisation.” However, the court decided to acquit all defendants of these charges.



Pınar Sağ

Photo: Haber34


Click to read more about music censorship in Turkey on freemuse.org
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