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Turkey: Released prisoners should face no trial

Turkey: Released prisoners of conscience should face no further trial

Amnesty International welcomes today's decision of Turkey's appeal court to release from jail prisoners of conscience Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan. The ruling follows a request by the country's chief prosecutor to overturn their 15-year sentences. The organization believes that their release should be unconditional and that they should face no further legal action.

Amnesty International members around the world have been campaigning for the release of the four former deputies of the Turkish parliament since they were sentenced in December 1994 to 15 years' imprisonment for alleged membership of an illegal armed organization, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). Amnesty International adopted Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan as prisoners of conscience.

The organization considers the prosecution to have been motivated by a decision to punish the four former deputies who had based their non-violent political activities around the Kurdish question.

Background

In April this year, the Ankara State Security Court upheld the sentence of the four former deputies. Subsequently, States Security Courts in Turkey have been abolished.

Turkey in the Annual Report 2004: http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maackRZaa7wZFbb0hPub/

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