Türkei: Kurdisch iranischer Schriftsteller Sajjad Jahan Fard verhaftet

Rapid Action Network – Nr. 03/2017

Sajjad Jahan Fard (Quelle: PEN International)

Sajjad Jahan Fard (Quelle: PEN International)

Der internationale PEN ist zutiefst besorgt über die Festnahme und Inhaftierung des kurdisch iranischen Schriftstellers und Journalisten Sajjad Jahan Fard und seines Freundes Hassan Baladeh. Beide wurden am 25. Januar wegen der angeblichen „Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Vereinigung“ angeklagt, nachdem sie bei einem Besuch in Mardin Fotoaufnahmen gemacht hatten. Mardin liegt im überwiegend kurdischen Südosten der Türkei. Falls sie verurteilt werden, drohen ihnen bis zu zehn Jahre Gefängnis.

Der internationale PEN befürchtet, dass Sajjad Jahan Fard und Hassan Baladeh einzig wegen ihrer Kontakte zu kurdischen Intellektuellen, Wissenschaftlern und Verlagen verhaftet wurden. Der PEN fordert die türkischen Behörden dazu auf, die beiden unverzüglich freizulassen.

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Schreiben Sie Protestbriefe an die türkischen Behörden:

  • Fordern Sie die Behörden dazu auf, Sajjad Jahan Fard und Hassan Baladeh unverzüglich freizulassen;
  • Fordern Sie die Behörden auf, alle inhaftierten Schriftsteller und Journalisten freizulassen, wenn sie sich nicht einer Straftat schuldig gemacht haben. Klagen Sie ein, dass diese Fälle unverzüglich nach den internationalen Standards für faire Gerichtsverfahren verhandelt werden;
  • Fordern Sie die Behörden auf, das Ausrufen des Ausnahmezustands nicht zu missbrauchen, um gegen friedliche Formen des Widerspruchs seitens der Zivilgesellschaft und der Medien vorzugehen.

Schreiben Sie an: 

S.E. den Botschafter der Türkei
Herrn Ali Kemal Aydin
Türkische Botschaft
Tiergartenstraße 19-21
10785 Berlin
botschaft.berlin [at] mfa.gov [dot] tr

Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN)

Sajjad Jahan Fard and Hassan Baladeh were arrested on 3 January 2017 during a touristvisit to the city of Mardin, in South-eastern Turkey. The police accused them of taking pictures on behalf of a group with alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK) with the aim of planning terrorist activities. According to their lawyer, Sajjad Jahan Fard and Hassan Baladeh were refused access to their families and legal counsel for four days. They were brought before the Prosecutor on 25 January 2017, who charged them with “membership of a terrorist organisation” under Article 314 (2) of the Penal Code, charges that they vehemently deny. A motion calling for their release pending trial was rejected and is currently being appealed by their lawyer. They remain in pre-trial detention in Mardin prison. A date for their hearing has yet to be set.

Sajjad Jahan Fard, aged 32, is a writer from Iran and a member of the Kurdish PEN Centre. He is the author of several books about Kurdish culture, language and folklore, including The Myths of the Land of Medes, A life in Silence and Names-letters of Manisht. He also works as editor of the Kurdish website Jiyar Kurd.

Freedom of expression in Turkey has deteriorated sharply since the failed coup of 15 July 2016. Over 170 news outlets have been shut down under laws passed by presidential decree following the imposition of a state of emergency, a period that has been characterised by the heavy-handed use of extraordinary powers while normal constitutional protections are suspended. As of 18 January 2017, according to PEN International’s records, at least 151 writers and journalists had been arrested and detained without charge or were awaiting trial in Turkey.

There has also been a massive crackdown on Turkey’s Kurdish population, with arrests of Kurdish journalists and closures of pro-Kurdish media outlets, the forced replacement of elected local officials and arrests of MPs from the pro-Kurdish HDP party. Thousands of Kurdish teachers, journalists and academics were also suspended from their jobs as part of a nation-wide purge.

While recognising the right of the Turkish authorities to bring to justice those responsible for crimes during the attempted coup, PEN International calls on the Turkish authorities to safeguard freedom of expression, human rights and respect their obligations under international law during the declared state of emergency and to release all journalists and writers held solely in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. The organisation further calls for an end of the crackdown in the Kurdish regions and for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.

In January 2017, a delegation of PEN writers visited Turkey to assess the situation of freedom of expression and express solidarity with fellow writers protesting the heavy-handed clampdown in the country.

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