English PEN is deeply disappointed that Turkey’s Supreme Court of Cassation has decided to uphold journalist and poet Nedim Türfent’s prison sentence. Responding to the news, PEN member and Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee Salil Tripathi said:
We deplore the decision of Turkey’s Court of Cassation to uphold Nedim Türfent’s lengthy and unfair prison sentence, despite blatant violations of his right to a fair trial. It is another dark day in Nedim’s ongoing miscarriage of justice. The Turkish authorities must release him immediately and unconditionally, and urgently overturn his conviction.
A week ago, as the PEN community gathered for its annual Congress in Manila, we presented an empty chair for Nedim, a painful reminder of his absence and a symbol of our support. We urge Turkey’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights to promptly rule on his case. We will not stop campaigning until he is free.
Nedim Türfent is serving an eight-year-and-nine- month prison sentence on trumped-up terrorism charges following an unfair trial, during which scores of witnesses said they had been tortured into testifying against him. He spent almost two years in solitary confinement in harrowing detention conditions. Determined to keep writing, he started composing poetry while detained.
PEN launched a solidarity campaign with Nedim Türfent in December 2018, making him a priority case for the organisation. In February 2019, over 600 people, including members from 25 PEN centres, signed a global appeal calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Nedim Türfent featured in this year’s PEN World Poetry Day, with one of his poem translated into 18 languages, and was among the writers at risk highlighted at the 2019 English PEN Modern Literature Festival with a performance by fellow writer James Miller.
Spread the word
Join the call for Nedim Türfent’s release on social media – #FreeNedimTürfent
Show your support
I send my sincerest love and greetings to all the organisations and individuals who are organising a campaign for me and who are continuing their efforts. As long as you show this valuable solidarity, hope will always continue to remain in my heart – Nedim Türfent
Please send messages of solidarity to Nedim:
Nedim Türfent, Van Yüksek Güvenlikli, Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu, Koğuş A53, Van, Turkey