Friday, 22 September 2017

Turkey Jails 14 Lawyers Representing Imprisoned Hunger-Striking Teachers


A Turkish court on Thursday jailed on terror charges 14 lawyers representing two detained teachers who have been on hunger strike for six months after being fired in a mass crackdown on the public sector.
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More than 140,000 public sector workers were sacked or suspended by Turkey under a state of emergency imposed following last July's failed coup against Erdogan.

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The case of Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca has become a rallying cry for critics of Turkey's authoritarian policies in the crackdown.
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The pair, who began a hunger strike protest in March, were jailed on terror charges in May and went on trial on September 14 but were not present in court amid health concerns.
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Two days before the trial began, sixteen lawyers from the Office of People's Rights (HHB) that represents them were detained.
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A court in Istanbul ordered 14 of the lawyers to be imprisoned on charges of "membership of an armed terror group" while two were released.
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The lawyers are accused of links to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), an outlawed Marxist group that has carried out sporadic attacks.
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The HHB is also accused of being part of the DHKP-C, together with Gulmen and Ozakca, accusations they vehemently deny.
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"We only have one answer, to organise ourselves even more and to step up our fight for justice," the HHB wrote on its Twitter account.
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The next hearing in the trial of Gulmen, an academic and Ozakca, a former primary school teacher, will take place on September 28.

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