250 British writers, including Monica Ali, Antonia Fraser, Nick Hornby, Ian McEwan, Harold Pinter, Joan Smith and Tom Stoppard have signed a petition protesting at the upcoming trials of several Turkish writers, journalists, and publishers in February 2006. For a full list of signatories click here
Among those on trial are journalists Ismet Berkan, Murat Belge, Hasan Cemal, Erol Katircioglu and Haluk Sahin; editor Hrant Dink; and publishers Fatih Tas and Ragip Zarakolu.
Around 60 writers, publishers and journalists, including Orhan Pamuk, have been before the courts in Turkey in the past year, many charged under Article 301 of the Penal Code. Article 301/1 states that “A person who explicitly insults being a Turk, the Republic or Turkish Grand National Assembly, shall be imposed to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of six months to three years”.
The charges against Orhan Pamuk were dropped on 23 January. Click here for further details.
PEN is concerned that a state that has ratified both the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which see freedom of expression as central, should have a Penal Code that includes a clause that is so clearly contrary to these very same principles.
For background information click here
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/archivebulletins/writerspetitioninprotestagainstupcomingturkeytrials/