|JUDGMENT IN LEYLA ZANA AND FELLOW KURDISH MPs' CASE TO BE DELIVERED BY EUROPEAN COURT|
JUDGMENT IN LEYLA ZANA AND FELLOW KURDISH MPs' CASE TO BE DELIVERED BY EUROPEAN COURT: AFTER EIGHT YEAR WAIT, DECISION TO BE HANDED DOWN TOMORROW
For immediate release - 10th June 2002
The long-awaited judgment in the case the renowned Kurdish Parliamentarian Leyla Zana and twelve of her fellow ex-DEP (Democracy Party) MPs - six of whom were arrested along with Ms Zana in March 1994 and six who fled Turkey three months later - is to be handed down by the European Court of Human Rights tomorrow afternoon, 11 June 2002.
KHRP brought the case of Toguc and others v Turkey (26149/95; 25144-54/94), which puts forward the complaints of the six MPs in exile, to the European Court in 1994. It was subsequently joined to the case of Sadak and others v Turkey (27100-1/95) at the Court.
The pro-Kurdish DEP party, which was founded in May 1993, survived just one year before being ordered to shut down by the Turkish Constitutional Court on 16 June 1994. Prior to that, on 2 March 1994, DEP MPs Mehmet Hatip Dicle and Orhan Dogan had been taken into police custody followed by the arrests of DEP MPs Sirri Sakik, Ahmet Turk and Leyla Zana two days later. Fearing similar prosecution, DEP MPs Nizamettin Toguc, Mahmut Kilinc, Remzi Kartal, Zubeyir Aydar and Naif Gunes fled to Brussels on 16 June 1994, the dame day that the Constitutional Court ordered the closure of DEP. Selim Sadak and Sedat Yurttas, the last two MPs to be arrested, were taken into police custody on 1 July 1994.
Sentences handed down by the Ankara State Security Council in December 1994 were severe, with Turk, Dicle, Dogan, Sadak and Zana receiving fifteen-year sentences for 'membership in an armed gang', Yurttas receiving seven years for 'assisting an armed gang' and Sakik getting a three year sentence for 'separatist propaganda'.