Original Release Date: February 17, 2021
The Özgür Gündem newspaper was shut down on 16 August 2016 by a Turkish court on charges of “propaganda for a terrorist organization”. Four defendants in the Özgür Gündem newspaper case have just been sentenced to prison after a trial at the 23rd Criminal Court in Istanbul. Eren Keskin, a lawyer, writer and prominent human rights defender, is one of the defendants in the trial who has been sentenced to prison.
Following the court’s decision, a social media campaign was organized in favor of Eren Keskin with the hashtag: “We’re not going anywhere”. The campaign started immediately after Eren Keskin testified, after the trial ended Whatever you do, I’m not going anywhere. I will continue writing and defending myself ».
Keskin was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for “belonging to a terrorist organization”. Zana Kaya was also sentenced to two years and one month in prison. He was charged with “destruction of state unity”, “propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “belonging to a terrorist organization” for working as shift editor for Özgür Gündem. The former editor of Özgür Gündem, Kemal Sancılı, and its editor-in-chief, İnan Kızılkaya, were also sentenced to six years and three months.
The campaign was launched on social media and has received the support of many deputies from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), artists, writers, activists, NGOs and political parties.
After the campaign was launched, Keskin posted a message on his twitter account and thanked everyone for their support.
«Today I am grateful for the support you have given me. I will continue to defend all the truths in which I believe. The Genocide of 1915, the Kurdish and Kurdish question, the LGBTI + struggle, the struggle for the liberation of women, all of them. The world can only be changed by those who RESIST », wrote.
Amnesty International “condemned the conviction” of the four Turkish human rights defenders on charges “related to terrorism”. Milena Buyum, Amnesty International’s campaign manager on Turkey, stated: “A human rights lawyer who has spoken out against injustice for more than three decades has made herself a victim of injustice. Eren Keskin has dedicated his life to defending the rights of women and prisoners and has fought for justice for the families of the disappeared. This verdict is another shocking example of how anti-terrorism laws are used to criminalize legitimate and peaceful activities ».