Freedom for 11 Revolutionaries in Greece
WE ARE WITNESSES OF LAWLESSNESS, INJUSTICE!
OBSERVATION AND EVALUATION REPORT ON THE TRIAL AND DECISION OF THE 11 POLITICAL PRISONERS FROM TURKEY AT ATHENS CRIMINAL COURT
“THE TRIAL IS NOT A FAIR TRIAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW.
THE PROVISIONS OF NATIONAL LAW, THE RULES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES OF LAW HAVE BEEN VIOLATED. THE TRIAL AND DECISION ARE CLEARLY POLITICAL IN NATURE.”
A- GENERAL INFORMATION
As a result of the raids on legal-democratic institutions such as associations and magazine offices, where 11 political refugees from Turkey compulsorily stay together and carry out political activities within the scope of the operation carried out in Athens on March 19, 2020, a total of 26 political refugees from Turkey political refugees were detained, 15 of whom were released, and 11 of them were released. They were arrested by the court. The trial regarding the arrested 11 political refugees from Turkey started on July 2, 2021. In the final hearing of the case, which lasted approximately three weeks (9 hearings), on July 19, 2021, heavy sentences were given to 11 political refugees from Turkey. With this decision, the Athens Heavy Penalty Court gave all 11 revolutionaries from Turkey, without any discrimination or personalization; sentenced to 30 years of heavy imprisonment for crimes such as establishing an organization, leading an organization and acting together as a member, obtaining weapons, carrying weapons, possession of weapons and forgery of official documents. (One of the defendants, Sinan Oktay Özen, was sentenced to a total of 33 years for the crime of being an organization manager together with other crimes, and a total of 30 years for the other defendants for being a member of the organization and other crimes)
B- OBSERVATION AND EVALUATION OF THE TRIAL AND THE DECISION OF THE COURT
1- Both the case and the decision are political. It cannot be explained by law.
The Athens Heavy Penalty Court, acting like the courts that make decisions on the orders of the AKP government, gave the political refugees from Turkey revolutionaries the heaviest sentences it could give.
The court based its decision on the political refugees from Turkey revolutionaries on the scenarios of the anti-terror police, which were not supported by any concrete evidence. In its decision, the court took a political stance and arbitrarily sentenced all 11 political refugees from Turkey revolutionaries to the same punishment for membership in an organization (for Sinan Oktay Özen, on the charge of being an organization director) and many other crimes, even though there was no evidence, no evidence at all. In summary, the violations of law we witnessed in this fictional trial, which started on July 2 and whose outcome was clear from the beginning, are as follows;
– The court committee conducting the trial has shown an attitude far from the image of an independent and impartial court since the beginning of the trial. Throughout the trial, the court continued to be biased and biased—sometimes hostile—against the defendants, witnesses and even lawyers. – An unfair and biased trial practice has been put forward by violating all the rights of the defendants regarding the trial, especially the right of defense. The head of the delegation did not listen to any words of the defendants, witnesses and lawyers, did not allow the defense witnesses to speak freely, prevented them from speaking by constantly interrupting their speech, shouting and shouting, refusing all the demands of the defendants and their lawyers, ignoring their right to defense.
– On July 8, masked and special uniforms attacked and tortured the defendants in the courtroom, the court ignored this torture and implicitly approved these tortures.
– At the hearing on July 9, the defendants left the Hall, describing the police attack and torture the day before, saying that their right to defend and their right to a fair trial had been eliminated, that they would not allow it, that they would not bow to this arbitrary and hostile attitude of the court.
-The indifference of the court committee, the defendants and their lawyers continued in the hearings that continued between 13-16 July. The court did not listen to the defense of the defendants and their lawyers and rejected their demands completely.
– The prosecutor who gave his opinion at the hearing held on 15 July; without any discrimination and without making any personalization, it demanded that all the accused be punished for “membership of a terrorist organization”, obtaining, carrying and possessing weapons, forgery of official documents and resisting the police. In this opinion, the prosecutor counted the defendants’ signing victory signs, shouting slogans, staying together in the same house while entering and leaving the courtroom, among the evidence of the accusation of membership of an organization.
2-The decision is not a decision of an independent and impartial court. It is an arbitrary decision made with political instructions.
– Seen on July 19 in the case of sentencing, the court by performing all the demands of the prosecutor, the defendants and their defense lawyers, ignoring all the demands of the lawyers, rejecting no extenuating regardless of the reason, and we make no distinction between the defendants, no accusation has given the same punishment for all revolutionaries, on the same charges without making it personal.
For example, the court evaluates the crimes of supplying, carrying and hiding weapons, for which only one defendant has a concrete claim and which is not possible for all defendants to commit together, even in the ordinary course of life, as if all defendants have committed these acts together, and all defendants from each of these crimes (procuring weapons, carrying weapons) and possession crimes, 6 years each, a total of 18 years) imprisonment.
– The court cited this decision as a reason that most decriminals stay in the same house, live together and in solidarity under the conditions of Greece, as they are political refugees, and considered this situation among the evidence of the crime of “membership in the organization”.
The court also counted among the evidence the photographs and flags that had been hung for years in the association and magazine office, one of the places where the police searched within the scope of the operation on 19 March 2020, and which have not been subject to any trial until today. In addition, all those detained at this address during the operation were released on the same day, and no one was even prosecuted. All those sued are residing elsewhere. But despite this, these photos and flags are shown as evidence of illegal membership of the organization against defendants who were detained from another house, not in this office, and were arrested only for this reason.
– The court sentenced one of the defendants, Sinan Oktay Özen, for “managing the organization”, but could not explain this situation legally. Because there is no evidence that distinguishes Sinan Oktay Özen from the other defendants in the case, indicating that he is the manager of the organization. The only evidence is the statement of the anti-terror police, who testified in the case and led the operation, “I think so.” This is legally unacceptable.
– The court also did not even ask the defendants their last words, which are legally required to ask them before announcing their decision, and usurped their defense rights.
3-general assessment of the trial and decision
• This trial is not a fair trial in accordance with the law. The court acted in a highly biased and hostile manner towards the defendants.
• This trial is a political trial aimed at criminalizing and preventing the legal democratic struggles and political activities of revolutionaries from Turkey in Greece.
• This decision is strictly legal-in accordance with the law, it is not a decision made by the court of its own volition. This decision is clearly a decision made with political instructions.
• This decision is not a decision made by the court on the date of the decision. This decision is a decision made in advance, announced at the end of a judging game that is displayed for 2 weeks.
* In this decision, the economic, political and military relations of the Nea Dimokratia government with NATO, EU-US imperialism and the AKP government were decisive. A month before this decision, Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis and the president of the Republic of Turkey and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan held closed-door meetings with the press during the NATO summit, indicating what political will was effective in this decision.
• Again, following the operation on March 19, 2020, in line with the information and request of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Turkey, Süleyman Soylu, that the arrested persons are “dangerous terrorist criminals”, that they have been following these people for a long time, and that the operation was carried out by the Turkish intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). and their explanations that this decision took place are a clear indication of who and how this decision was actually made.
• This trial and the political decision made are of a nature that poses a serious threat not only to the revolutionaries from Turkey, but also to the entire Greek people, to the democratic achievements of the Greek people to date.
In this trial, which resulted in heavy sentences for 11 political refugees from Turkey, the provisions of national law and universal principles of law were clearly violated. During the hearings, the court board exhibited a biased and hostile trial practice that was far from being independent and impartial, resulting in an open political trial. With this open political trial practice, 11 political refugees-especially the right to defense and the right to a fair trial in an independent and impartial court – have clearly violated the right to a fair trial and many other rights. We have witnessed this practice of political judgment dozens of times in Turkey. We know very well the hostile attitudes of the court delegation from Puppet judges such as akin Gürlek of AKP fascism. We have witnessed such political decisions, unlawful trials, severe punishments without evidence and without evidence countless times in Turkey. Today, we also see very clearly that in Athens, known as the “birthplace of democracy”, all democratic gains to date are in danger, at heavy risk. The Mitsotakis government is increasing its attacks not only on revolutionaries, but also on all democratic gains of the people. The political attitude displayed by the court in this case and the decision made are only part of it. We, as lawyers of the people, say once again with the experience we have gained from the courts of Turkish fascism that we can stop this lawlessness, this injustice only by fighting together. The case is over for now, but the fight for justice for 11 revolutionaries is not over yet. This fight will continue until the Athens Court of Appeal puts an end to this lawlessness, this injustice. We call on all our colleagues, all lawyers and the Greek people to stand in solidarity with the revolutionaries, who have been unlawfully sentenced to severe punishment by a political decision made at the end of a political trial, to fight together against this lawlessness and injustice.