Turkish State Attempts to Silence Those Protesting Its Massacre of Roboski Villagers

Imprisons Kurdish journalist

Kurdish journalist and writer Ozgur Amed has recently been sentenced to 3 years in prison for his political activism on behalf of the Kurdish people. The 7th Criminal High Court of Diyarbakir sentenced Ozgur on the trumped up charge of “committing an illegal organization crime while not being an illegal organization member”.

This piece of double speak refers to Ozgur’s participation in a demonstration in Diyarbakir three days after a Turkish war plane massacred 34 Kurdish civilians in the Roboski village on the 28th December 2011.

On this day a 38 strong group of villagers from Roboski were engaging in trade on the Turkish-Iraqi border when they were mistakenly identified as PKK operatives and shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. Thirty four people in the group were killed, 19 of whom were children.

The kangaroo court in Diyarbakir passed the 3 year prison sentence on Ozgur despite several policeman from the demonstration testifying that Ozgur, “was among those dispersing after the demo but was not witnessed assaulting the security forces”.

The Turkish government has a long history of repressing Kurdish journalists, a history that is consistently ignored by its NATO allies. By turning a blind eye, NATO has enabled the Turkish state’s repression of the Kurdish people for many decades. Its brutal war against the national aspirations of the Kurdish people has claimed over 40,000 lives.

People across the world must demand the release of Ozgur Amed, a man whose only crime is to defend the rights of a massively repressed minority within Turkey. Ozgur has been an active supporter of the revolution sweeping across the cantons of Rojava in Northern Syria. His articles for the papers Özgür Gündem and Yeni Özgür Politika have played an important role in chronicling and celebrating this social, economic and political revolution as it unfolds in the cantons of Kobani, Afrin, and Jazira.

The Turkish government convicted Ozgur with out producing any concrete evidence. Email protests calling for his immediate release should be sent to:

Turkish Minister of Justice Mr.Bekir Bozdag, rt.vog.teladanull@ofni

You can sign the petition calling for Ozgur’s release at: Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag: Release Kurdish journalist Ozgur Amed from prison.

Ophelia Murphy is a political activist and writer studying literature at university. Dylan Murphy is a trade union activist and historian. Read other articles by Ophelia Murphy and Dylan Murphy.