Turkey: PEN calls on Turkey to acquit sociologist Pınar Selek

Tomorrow, 11 June 2014, Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals will deliver its final decision in the marathon trial of sociologist, writer and feminist Pınar Selek

Pınar Selek is accused of involvement in a 1998 explosion that killed seven and injured 100 in the Istanbul Spice Bazaar, and has been tried four times since her arrest. She was acquitted in the first three of these trials (in 2006, 2008 and 2011) due to the testimony of expert witnesses that claimed that the cause of the explosion was most likely an accidental gas leak rather than a bomb, but was sentenced to life in prison in her fourth trial in January 2013.

Detained for two and a half years before being freed pending trial, Selek fled Turkey and now lives abroad. The trial against her continues in absentia. PEN protests the continuing judicial harassment of Selek and, in the absence of any conclusive or reliable evidence, calls for her immediate acquittal.

For further background information on this case, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION 

Please send appeals immediately:

  • Protesting the continuing judicial harassment of Pınar Selek after 16 years on trial and three acquittals;
  • Expressing concern that, in the absence of any conclusive or reliable evidence, the trial against Selek contravenes her right to a fair trial as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human and Democratic Rights, to which Turkey is a state party;
  • Calling on the Turkish authorities to acquit her of all charges and to drop the arrest warrant against her immediately, enabling her to return to Turkey without fear of arrest.

Appeals to:

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ
Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No: 22
Bakanlıklar
06659 Kızılay
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
Email: bekir.bozdag@tbmm.gov.tr; ozelkalem@adalet.gov.tr
Twitter: @bybekirbozdag

Please also send copies to the Turkish Embassy here in the UK:

His Excellency Mr. Ünal Çeviköz
43 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8PA
United Kingdom
Fax: +44 20 73 93 00 66, +44 20 73 93 92 13
Email: embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr‘ subject=”Concern for Pınar Selek”]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to call for the acquittal of writer, sociologist and feminist Pınar Selek.

According to PEN’s information, on 24 January 2013 Pınar Selek was sentenced to life imprisonment. Selek is accused of involvement in an explosion 16 years ago, although she has been acquitted three times previously. The decision was also made despite the conclusions of numerous experts that the 1998 explosion was a tragic accident caused by a leaking gas canister. Detained for two and a half years before being freed pending trial, Selek is now living abroad and the hearing was in absentia. An arrest warrant has been issued against her.

I am writing to strongly protest the life sentence served against Pınar Selek on charges of which she has already been acquitted three times. I am concerned that the trial against Selek contravenes her right to a fair trial as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human and Democratic Rights, to which Turkey is a state party

I therefore join PEN in protesting the continuing judicial harassment of Pınar Selek and, in the absence of any conclusive or reliable evidence, call for her immediate acquittal and for the arrest warrant against her to be dropped immediately, enabling her to return to Turkey without fear of arrest.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[/ecampaign]

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