(Note: After the article had been published; the imprisoned people’s lawyers started a hunger strike against SEGBİS, and then the court decided that the lawyers be brought to courtroom)
Yürüyüş No.81, August 26, 2018
This is a “war for justice”.
Within this war there will be a great deal of conflict.
The war for a defence is one aspect of this.
We will fight. We will defend our right to a defence.
THIS IS A WAR FOR JUSTICE.
WE WILL ALSO WIN THIS WAR.
AKP Fascism started an “attack aimed at destruction” on September 12, 2017. From September 10, 2018 it will continue in the courtrooms!
We have resisted and will resist at every stage the terror of imprisonment; in our offices and houses we have resisted raids.
We have resisted torture in detention.
We have resisted isolation in the prisons.
We will resist SEGBİS in the courtrooms.
We will be the ones who judge, not the ones who are judged!
We will win this war.
Fascism is afraid. Because it is afraid, it puts people in jail. Imprisonment is not enough, it also wants to destroy people’s lawyers and any concept of people’s lawyers. Fascism is afraid. It wants to sentence those it jails to decades of imprisonment; but it is afraid to bring them to the courtrooms. It is afraid of a reckoning with them in courtrooms on a basis of law and justice.
Because fascism knows:
Whenever it has wanted to judge revolutionaries and condemn revolutionism in the courtrooms, its plans have been turned on their heads.
Fascism tries to be the judge but ends up being judged.
Fascism tries to condemn but ends up being condemned.
Fascism has the same terror of the People’s Law Bureau (HHB) lawyers whose hearing begins on September 10 and this is why it is trying to put them on trial and bring things to a conclusion WITHOUT THEM BEING PRESENT.
Fascism’s Attack On The HHB: Such A Conception Of Being A Lawyer Is Not Allowed!
On September 12, 2017 the Istanbul HHB was raided by police; on the same day, in five different provinces, the police carried out attack on lawyers. Seventeen lawyers were detained and then jailed.
The lawyers who were detained were lawyers for the families whose children had been killed by fascist state terror, for workers murdered in the mines, for the poor whose houses were torn down, for workers thrown out of work, for fighters for people’s justice interpreting the longings of the people and patriots struggling for independence. Those who experience injustice and lack of rights, who have resisted in every area of life and have experience of tyranny because of it, have them as their lawyers. They confront torture, unemployment and massacres. They were the lawyers for Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who resisted being fired. The raids against the lawyers happened two days before the court hearing of Nuriye and Semih. This was not a coincidence.
Fascism wants to destroy any conception of being a lawyer that is not subject to the system. This is why they were jailed. This is why they have been held in isolation conditions in jail for a year and have been tortured.
Now the war will continue in the courtrooms. They want to give prison sentences of decades to people’s lawyers.
Fascism Is Afraid Of The People’s Lawyers It Has Put In Handcuffs
The hearing for people’s lawyers will take place on September 10-15, 2018 in Istanbul Bakırköy Palace of Justice’s Conference Room.
AKP fascism has taken a decision about this trial.
The court will not have 15 lawyers who have been jailed taken to it, instead a decision has been taken to hold the session with SEGBİS (Voice And Image Awareness System).
There is only one reason for this decision: fascism is afraid. It is afraid that in a courtroom people’s lawyers will demolish the judgment. It is afraid of the answers people’s lawyers will give to the questions posed to them.
Fascism is afraid. This is the fear of those who are unjust and illegitimate when they confront those who are just and legitimate.
Fascism is afraid of the courts. This fear is the fear on the part of those who do not even believe in their own laws, prosecutors and judges in whom no confidence I placed, when they confront the defenders of people’s justice.
What Is SEGBİS?
SEGBİS is an abbreviation for Voice And Image Awareness System (in Turkish). Using SEGBİS means not directly taking part in court hearings, it means taking part in the hearing by means of a camera.
SEGBİS from the viewpoint of the law is JUDGMENT WITHOUT THE ACCUSED AND WITHOUT A DEFENCE.
There are two sides in a court proceeding. The accusation and the defence. In a proceeding where there is no defence and the accused is not “physically present”, this means the minimum needs of a judgment are being trampled on.
From a political viewpoint SEGBİS is fascism’s fear of the people’s lawyers, people’s artists, people’s architects and engineers, people’s parliament members, Dev-Genç, People’s Front and revolutionaries and patriots it has jailed.
The result of this fear is that it is TAKING AWAY the right of prisoners to a defence.
The accused who takes part in SEGBİS only does so during the part of the hearing involving his or her own defence. The defence is made in a narrow, small, unventilated place, opposite a small screen in the presence of prison guards. The judge can order the connection cut at any moment if the defence is considered to be too long or to go into unnecessary matters.
It is of basic importance in a court hearing of a penal nature to follow the “face to face principle” and is also necessary of the right to a defence.
This is the reason why there is a rule that “there cannot be a court hearing if the accused is not present”. According to the Penal Judgment Law, the “physical presence of the accused” is a necessary condition for a process of judgment. This arrangement prevents the accused’s right to a defence being restricted makes it possible for the accused to defend themselves against accusations in the most effective manner possible.
A court hearing with SEGBİS is not “being physically present”.
SEGBİS is not the principle of face to face.
The right to be physically present in a court hearing and the right to an effective defence is being taken away.
Fascism Tramples On Its Own Laws
According to the system’s own laws, there are three minimum conditions for a court hearing to be “in conformity with the law”:
The public nature of the court hearing
Direct participation of the accused in the court hearing
The court involving a direct confrontation between the accused and the witnesses
In the laws of the system, one of the most basic aspects, “a right to a just judgment”, the accused’s right to make a defence consists of being present in the hearing.
SEGBİS is the taking away of a right to a defence.
WE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS!
SEGBİS means punishment without an enquiry or a defence.
WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS!
SEGBİS is an indefensible attack.
WE WILL RESIST IT!
The “right to be physically present” in the courtroom is to directly recognise that the accused has a place in the court, can give direction to the court and is able to defend himself or herself. To take away the right of the accused to be in the court or to fail to ensure a convenient environment or the possibility for the accused to be physically present is a violation of the right to a fair trial even according to the laws of the system themselves.
Everything We Do Is Open.
AKP Fascism Will Not Even Conduct An Open Trial!
In the 1400s, poor Ottoman people rebelled against injustice and poverty. Rebellions took place under the leadership of Sheikh Bedreddin, Börklüce Mustafa and Torlak Kemal. The Ottoman Empire, like all exploitative ruling classes, crushed uprisings with massacres rather than accept the demands of the people. Bedreddin, the leader of the uprising, was imprisoned.
The Sultan, before having the leader of the uprising executed, had him brought into his presence, wanting him to be condemned in political and religious terms, and then executed afterwards.
Since Sheikh Bedreddin was known to be one of the intellectuals of that period and was also as knowledgeable on the subject of religion “as deep as the sea”, the Sultan brought along the most famous “ulemas” to condemn him in terms of both religion and knowledge.
Bedreddin was brought before the Sultan. The discussion began.
They said to Bedreddin, “Give an account of your irreligious behaviour.”
The white-bearded Bedreddin had nothing he needed to explain.
There was nothing he had to defend.
The ulemas for their part had nothing they could say regarding what Bedreddin had expressed. The Ottoman system was a system of injustice and exploitation.
Bedreddin was in the right.
But at that moment it was the system of tyranny that was powerful. The verdict was one appropriate to the system of tyranny. Bedreddin said:
“No more words
Since the fatwa is about us
Give it and let us vouch for it in our bosom.”
The fatwa contained Bedreddin’s sentence of death.
Throughout history this scene was repeated in courts.
The revolutionaries were in the dock, but even if they were executed, they gave expression to their historical rightness.
Fascism wanted to judge them, as did imperialism. But the judgment ended up directed at them.
AKP fascism is not able to defend the imprisonments.
The AKP fears that its plots will be revealed.
Neither Tayyip Erdoğan, nor Süleyman the Ignoble (pun on the interior minister’s name Soylu, whıch means “noble”), nor any other member of the government can actually defend the imprisonment or punishment of the HHB.
They cannot actually answer the questions of the HHB lawyers.
This is why they are resorting to SEGBİS. And at this point let us add another definition:
SEGBİS IS FASCISM’S FLIGHT FROM THE PEOPLE, FROM WHAT IS RIGHT AND FROM THE REVOLUTIONARIES.
If you brought together the most famous, the most expert jurists of our country and the world, all the law professors, and put all of them up against an HHB lawyer, the result of such a discussion is obvious from the start.
That one lawyer will beat everyone to the ground like Bedreddin overcame all the ulemas.
And why is there such an outcome?
Is it because an HHB lawyer is so intelligent, speaks so well, or has memorised all the law books so well?
There is only one reason for it:
Because an HHB lawyer is historically right and legitimate.
Throughout History Our Blood Has Been Spilled For Rights And Freedoms
We Will Resist And Fight For Them Today As Well
As a result of hundreds of years of struggle by the peoples of the world, the bourgeois legal system was forced to accept a number of rights, defined as “universal rights” and “basic rights”. “Freedom of belief”, “the right to resist”, “the right to hold meetings and marches”, “the right to issue a press statement” are named as basic rights and freedoms recognised in the laws of bourgeois governments and fascist governments. But fascism in practice does not respect these “constitutional rights”. It has made them inapplicable in practice. But this is not enough. It thinks they are a crime. It sees them as a reason to attack and to put people in jail.
Today in our country there is not a demonstration, an action, a press statement or a march that the police do not attack. Never mind the ones that “do not have permission”, the police even attack the ones that do have permission.
The right to a trial is in the same predicament.
According to the law, this is one of the basic rights of everyone.
What dos the right to a trial mean? It means nobody can be punished without a trial.
SEGBİS however takes this right away.
You might be judged there but YOU ARE NOT PRESENT. This is the essence of the empty name SEGBİS that they give to it.
And this is why we will not allow the “right to a defence”, won by centuries of struggle, to be taken away.
Lawyers Of The People REJECT SEGBİS! Let Us Take The Side Of Lawyers Of The People!
HHB lawyers have declared that they will not take part in the hearing unless the SEGBİS decision is cancelled.
We will resist SEGBİS to defend the right to a defence.
The hearings will take place between September 10 and 15. The hearings will be an exposure of AKP fascism under every condition, however much it tries to escape.
LET US BE ON THE SIDE OF people’s lawyers who will not accept SEGBİS, which effectively takes away the right to participate in your own trial.
In particular it is necessary for all lawyers to be on the side of people’s lawyers opposing this attack on defence rights. Lawyers, all our people who are on the side of rights and freedoms, all democratic foundations must take a stand against SEGBİS.
This must be done by sending faxes or e–mails to the Justice Ministry, protesting the decision not to bring lawyers to the courtroom, participating in the trial, making statements of support for people’s lawyers and using various other methods.
This is a war for justice.
This is a war for defence.
The Laws Of The System Say Trials Must Be DIRECT, FACE TO FACE And PUBLIC.
The System Does Not Even Conform To Its Own Laws. The Trial Is NOT LEGITIMATE!
Let us not allow a fascist judgment. Let us defend our rights and freedoms!