Ferhat Tunç is being prosecuted for his peaceful expression … again.
For the last 10 years of his over 30-year career as an artist, Ferhat has been the target of numerous government investigations and cases against him because of his music and other peaceful expressions.
On 25 September 2018, Ferhat was sentenced to one year, 11 months and 12 days in prison on charges of “propaganda of a terrorist organization” over social media messages shared on his social media in December 2016.
Ferhat is now having to defend himself in an appeal of the recent ruling and two other pending cases against him.
Together, the charges of all three amount to more than 13 years imprisonment.
Despite a February 2015 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Turkey violated Ferhat Tunç’s right to freedom of expression by sentencing him to prison, he is now facing new charges of “propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “insulting the President” and “publicly provoking hatred and hostility” in three separate cases related to posts shared on social media.
Ferhat’s case is a testament to how Turkish authorities continue to harass, persecute, attack and imprison artists, cultural producers and publishers. In particular, the artistic environment in Turkey has deteriorated since the attempted coup in 2016, with hundreds of artists in Turkey like Ferhat facing repression and restrictions on their freedom of artistic expression.
Your actions are important and can make a difference in Ferhat’s life and the lives of others like him in Turkey.
Stand in solidarity with these artists and demand that Turkey drop all the charges against Ferhat Tunç.
Sign our petition calling for the charges to be dropped.
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First President İsmail Rüştü Cirit,
I, along with the undersigned artists and defenders of artistic freedom, call on the Turkish government to immediately drop all charges against musician Ferhat Tunç.
Mr Tunç has been sentenced to one year, 11 months and 12 days for one of three cases against him and is set to face two more trials for messages shared on social media that could see him serving 13 years in prison combined. He denies the charges and I stand with him.
For over 10 years, the musician has faced numerous charges and harassment from Turkish authorities, which has been in violation of international human rights laws that the country has signed on to. I ask that you and other authorities respect those legal agreements and put an end to targeting Mr Tunç.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. Sincerely,