Ferhat Tunc campaign 2005


DROP THE CASE
AGAINST FERHAT TUNÇ

06 December 2005


Musicians join Freemuse in appeal to Turkish Government


Freemuse is launching an international campaign requesting the Turkish State to drop its case against singer Ferhat Tunç who is to appear in court on December 28, 2005. If convicted, he will face one to three years of imprisonment.

In a letter to the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice in Turkey, musicians from six countries are joining the Freemuse campaign for the “immediate dismissal of the case against Mr. Ferhat Tünc.”
The letter also request a review of Turkish legislation, with the aim of removing any remaining laws that can lead to the imprisonment of artists for practicing their right to free expression. The letter conveys deep concern about “the continuous harassment of” Ferhat Tunç by Turkish Authorities. It also expresses “regret that Turkey continues censoring and prosecuting its artists during a time when Turkey’s Human Rights and Free Expression records are under international scrutiny.”

The musicians campaigning for Ferhat Tünc are Salman Ahmad (Pakistan/USA), Joelle Khoury (Lebanon), Marcel Khalife (Lebanon/France), Mark LeVine (USA), Khaled Al Shaykh (Bahrain) and Reda Zine (France).

“Deep judiciary”
Ferhat Tunç will appear in court on December 28th, 2005.  He will be tried according to article 159 of the [former] Turkish Penal Code, as a result of using the phrase “deep judiciary” in an article he wrote to the daily GÜNDEM. The 1st hearing on December 2nd, 2004, was postponed until March 9th, 2005, to allow time for additional documents to be gathered.
Ferhat Tunç stated in his defense that he did not mean to insult the court, he only meant to criticise. He also said he was upset that the charges were not dropped at the first hearing.
If convicted, he will face one to three years of imprisonment. The article which opposes “insulting the Republic, the President, Parliament, judiciary, security forces…” has since been amended through the so called “harmonization laws” which highlight that “critics could not be interpreted as insult.”

Accused of blasphemy
The Freemuse campaign is the first ever where musicians from several countries are supporting a colleague in a campaign for freedom of expression. Several of the musicians have faced censorship in their home countries.
In 1999 Marcel Khalife was accused in Beirut of blasphemy for singing a song ‘Oh my father. I am Yusuf’, based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish. “We must eliminate censorship”, Khalife said at a recent Freemuse conference in Beirut.
Salman Ahmad and his group Junoon have faced censorship at several occasions in Pakistan.

Visit Ferhat Tunc's website
Ferhat Tunç

Visit Ferhat Tunc’s website

News update
19 January 2007:


One more judicial inquiry against Ferhat Tunç

News update
13 February 2006:


Ferhat Tunç published a new article on 30 December 2005, entitled “Praise Be for 301 Times”. As a result, the Turkish Ministry of Justice has opened a judicial inquiry.
Read more…

News update
28 December 2005:


Ferhat Tunç appeared in court


Read the musician’s appeal

Join the campaign

Background: “Two freedom of Expression Cases in Court” at
BIA News Center


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