Another lawsuit has been filed against Saturday Mothers/People who wanted to make a press statement at the Altınşehir Cemetery of the Unnamed on the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances but were detained without being allowed to disperse. Saturday Mothers/People have been charged with “attending illegal meetings and marches and failing to disperse despite warning.”
On 30 August 2022 which marks the UN recognized International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, Saturday Mothers/People wanted to make a press statement at the Altınşehir Cemetery of the Unnamed where the bodies of Hasan Ocak and Rıdvan Karakoç who were tortured to death in police custody, were found.
The police, who had blockaded the neighborhood where the cemetery is located, did not allow the group consisting of the families of the forcibly disappeared and human rights defenders to enter the cemetery and had trapped the group within a so-called “security perimeter.” Although the families of the forcibly disappeared had communicated that they would disperse, the police did not let the families and human rights defenders out of the “security perimeter” and started issuing warnings for them to disperse. Soon after the warnings, the police had detained 14 people. The families and human rights defenders were held in police custody for almost 10 hours in total as the prosecutor who ordered them to be released decided to have them taken back into custody.
The indictment is four paragraphs long
The Terror and Organized Crimes Investigation Bureau of the Küçükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office indicted Maside Ocak, Hüseyin Ocak, Ali Ocak, Besna Tosun, Hanım Tosun, Hasan Karakoç, Hanife Yıldız, Gülseren Yoleri, Hüseyin Aygül, Ferit Barut, Aynur Ergül, Derya Deniz, Hüsnü Alkan and Türkan Acar, who were detained on that day. Referring to Article 32/1 of the Law no. 2911 on Demonstrations and Assemblies, the prosecutor charged 14 people with “attending illegal meetings and marches and failing to disperse despite being warned.”
In the indictment, the prosecutor stated that law enforcement was made aware via post shared on the social media account of the Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) that the Saturday Mothers/People were planning to make a press statement at the at the Altınşehir Cemetery of the Unnamed on August 30th, 2022 at 1:00 pm. Presenting the ban decision of the Küçükçekmece District Governorate on August 30th, the prosecutor claimed that the press statement was illegal.
Failing to mention that the Saturday Mothers/People were not allowed to disperse, the prosecutor claimed that “the group was given time to disperse” and alleged that “after they insisted on not dispersing despite the warning and started protesting by opening banners, the police intervened the group in a proportionate manner.”
In his four paragraphs long indictment, the prosecutor did not present any facts or evidence in favor of the Saturday Mothers/People. The prosecutor did not even include the testimonies of the Saturday Mothers/People despite the fact that “testimonies” are listed among the evidence in the introduction of the indictment.
The prosecutor who requests Saturday Mothers/People to be sentenced also asks them to be deprived of certain rights under Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.
The trial will begin on May 4th
The Küçükçekmece 1st Criminal Court of First Instance held preliminary proceedings on 11 January 2023 and set a date for the first hearing.
The court decided to begin the trial of Saturday Mothers/People on 4 May 2023 Thursday at 2.30 PM.
The trial of the other case in which 46 people, including families of the disappeared and human rights advocates who were detained during the police attack on the 700th Week Meeting of Saturday Mothers/People and charged with ‘participating in unlawful meetings and marches without arms and refusing to disperse spontaneously despite warning’, continues.
The trial of 46 people who were taken into custody when the police attacked the 700th Week Gathering of Saturday Mothers/People, still continues. The charges leveled against 46 people which includes the families of the forcibly disappeared and human rights defenders are also “attending illegal meetings and marches and failing to disperse despite being warned.”
On 16 November 2022, the Consitutional Court ruled that the police attack targeting the 700th Week Gathering of Saturday Mothers/People violated their right to peaceful assembly and demonstration.