More than thirty members of the European Parliament wrote a letter to the Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, and asked him to delegate an authorised observer as EU representative to the Kobane Case trial, which will take place in Ankara on April the 26th 2021.
Accused are 108 personalities from politics, civil society and the Kurdish liberation movement, who are accused of terrorist crimes and murder in dozens of cases in connection with the protests during the ISIS attack on Kobanê in October 2014. For former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş alone, the chief public prosecutor’s office is demanding up to 15,000 utopian years in prison.
The letter reads:
“Surely, the EU was Turkey’s first commercial partner in 2020, and the visit paid to Erdoğan by the highest European leaders, notwithstanding any unpleasant incident, had the explicit aim of re-boosting a closer cooperation with the Ankara government. However, the EU of the rule of law, of universal rights, cannot remain silent in the face of its violent authoritarian turn that is denying thousands of citizens political and civil liberties, that strikes the free press and praises patriarchy, sexism and misogyny, not least by withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention. The credibility of our democratic system, of the EU values, is at stake.
The so-called Kobanî Case was filed against 108 people, including several politicians and officials of the main opposition party in Turkey, the HDP. Among these, former HDP co- chair Selahattin Demirtaş, for whom the prosecutor requested more than 15.000 years imprisonment, and whose immediate release had been demanded by the European Court of Human Rights only two weeks before the case initiation.
Because you are certainly familiar with the process details, we would only like to stress hereby that the protest in solidarity with the people of Kobanî was intended to be a peaceful demonstration commemorating those who died in the fight against Daesh. The participants, therefore, were not just HDP members or politicised groups, but rather ordinary citizens willing to publicly express the universal values of humanity and solidarity.
Hence, we believe it is imperative that the EU institutions, despite the difficult times for traveling and move around, will be physically present the day of the trial to make sure that all due process rules are met, and that the defendants can exercise their rights as per the internationally recognised standards for human rights protection.
We are confident that you will gladly embrace our request and do everything in your power to grant it.”
The signatories are:
Massimiliano SMERIGLIO, MEP S&D
Alviina ALAMETSÄ, MEP Greens/EFA
François ALFONSI, MEP Greens/EFA
Pernando BARRENA, MEP The Left
Brando BENIFEI, MEP S&D
Malin BJÖRK, MEP The Left
Antoni COMÍN I OLIVERES, MEP NA
Gwendoline DELBOS-CORFIELD, MEP Greens/EFA
Özlem DEMIREL, MEP The Left
Sylvie GUILLAUME, MEP S&D
Hannes HEIDE, MEP S&D
Eva KAILI, MEP S&D
Petra KAMMEREVERT, MEP S&D
Stelios KOULOGLOU, MEP The Left
Pierfrancesco MAJORINO, MEP S&D
Erik MARQUARDT, MEP Greens/EFA
Costas MAVRIDES, MEP S&D
Martina MICHELS, MEP The Left
Alessandra MORETTI, MEP S&D
Demetris PAPADAKIS, MEP S&D
Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS, MEP The Left
Giuseppina PICIERNO, MEP S&D
Manu PINEDA, MEP The Left
Giuliano PISAPIA, MEP S&D
Clara PONSATÍ OBIOLS, MEP NA
Carles PUIGDEMONT I CASAMAJÓ, MEP NA
Sira REGO, MEP The Left
Andreas SCHIEDER, MEP S&D
Guenther SIDL, MEP S&D
Patrizia TOIA, MEP S&D
Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, MEP The Left
Bettina VOLLATH, MEP S&D
Miguel URBÁN CRESPO, MEP The Left
Salima YENBOU, MEP Greens/EFA