"In Turkey, hundreds of people currently face prosecution or are serving long prison sentences under terrorism laws simply for participating in demonstrations or throwing stones at a protest. The vast majority of them are Kurdish and joined protests in the cities of southeast Turkey or in Adana or Mersin in support of opinions the authorities perceive to be similar to those of the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Legal amendments since 2005, along with case law since 2008, have allowed courts in Turkey to convict these demonstrators under the harshest terrorism laws. The courts punish them with membership in the PKK and 'committing crimes on behalf of the organization,' in effect, treating protestors on civil issues as though they are armed militants. In July 2010, the government passed legal amendments to end the prosecution of most children under these laws. While this was a welcome step, it did not address the core problems with the terrorism laws and their use by the courts, and does nothing to help the hundreds of adults subject to ongoing prosecution. The use of these laws against demonstrators is incompatible with human rights law, criminalizing the legitimate exercise of freedom of opinion, expression, and assembly. Protesting as a Terrorist Offense, based on the examination of 50 cases of the prosecution of demonstrators in the Diyarbakır and Adana courts, also draws on interviews with defense lawyers, prosecutors, heads of bar associations, police officers, families of prosecuted demonstrators, defendants free from prison on bail, and representatives of children's and human rights groups. The report calls on the Turkish authorities to amend the laws that have resulted in the arbitrary and punitive application of terrorism charges against demonstrators, to suspend ongoing prosecutions against demonstrators under these laws, and to review the cases of those already convicted."--P.  of cover.
"November 2010"--Table of contents page. "This report was written by Emma Sinclair-Webb, researcher in the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch."--P. 74.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references.
Formatted Contents Note
Summary Background A culture of political protest Terrorism laws and demonstrators Restricting the rights to freedom of assembly and expression Stone-throwing equated with PKK membership: Disproportionate charges and sentences Convictions based solely on police identification Human rights violations Specific concerns related to prosecution of child demonstrators Recommendations Appendix: Translations of relevant articles: 2005 Turkish Penal Code and 2006 revision to the Anti-Terror Law Acknowledgments.