Human rights seem to be improving in Turkey. In June The Justice and Development party (AKP) adopted a package of reforms that revised some of the most repressive aspects of the Turkish Penal Code. However there are still many serious breaches of human rights.
In 1991 Leyla Zana was the first Kurdish woman to be elected to the Turkish Parliament. Her party, the Democracy Party (DEP) was outlawed in 1994. Leyla and three fellow Kurdish MPs were imprisoned for 15 years. In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that their trial was unfair and Turkish law now allows retrial when this is the case. Her next hearing is set for the 15th of September. Leyla is also serving an additional 2-year term for an article about Kurdish culture, written in 1998 while in jail. Leyla Zana is being punished for exercising her right to freedom of speech.
Please send appeals to:
The Minister of Justice
Mr Cemil Cicek
Ministry of Justice
Fax: +90 312 418 5667
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/prisoners/leylazana/