Turkish court denies retrial for peace academic despite top court ruling

A local court has failed to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling regarding Academics for Peace. The local court denied retrial for one of the academics, despite the top court's ruling for "rights violations."

Duvar English

A court has denied retrial for an academic, who was accused of terror propaganda after signing a peace petition, despite a top court ruling regarding "rights violation."

The Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court has failed to comply with the Constitutional Court ruling, which in July said that rights of Academics for Peace were violated, Independent's Turkish service reported.

Over 2,000 academics signed a petition called "We will not be a party to this crime" in early 2016 to urge the government to cease its military operations in the country's southeast.

Days-long curfews were imposed and human rights violations by the security forces were documented during the operations that the authorities said were being carried out against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a group designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

"We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state," the petition read, which was followed by a judicial process.

The academics were slammed by Turkish authorities, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for "making propaganda of a terrorist organization."

Over 800 academics were tried in the process, of whom 204 were handed jail terms ranging between one year and three months to three years.

The verdicts of conviction of 36 academics in total were not deferred.

On July 26, the Constitutional Court ruled for " rights violation" of Academics for Peace, while also sending the ruling to local courts for a retrial.

Some 27 courts ruled for the acquittal of 484 academics following the top court ruling.

One of the academics, identified only by the initials as S.U., sought a retrial after the aforementioned process, but was denied one by the Istanbul court.