Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 160th session
(Seoul, 15 April 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 159th session (September 1996) concerning the case of Mr. Ibrahim Aksoy, of Turkey,

Taking account of the information and observations provided by the Turkish delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 97th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (April 1997),

Also taking account of the information supplied by the source on 22 January 1997,

Recalling that, in March 1994, Mr. Aksoy was found guilty under Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of separatist propaganda and sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment and a fine of 100,000,000 Turkish pounds, which sentence, following the adoption of the amendment to Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on 27 October 1995, was reduced to 10 months' imprisonment and a lowered fine of 83,333,333 Turkish pounds,

Recalling also that, according to the above judgment, Mr. Aksoy was sentenced for having made the following statements on the occasion of a party congress of HEP on 18 May 1991 in Konya: " he declared in particular that the events in the East and South-East of our country concern the Kurdish national question; that the matter in question was a struggle to obtain the national democratic right which had been confiscated; that a force had been constituted against the Kurdish people claiming their national rights and that the HEP was a party belonging to the Kurds ",

Recalling further that Mr. Aksoy was sentenced several times under the Anti-Terrorism Act, and considering in this connection that, according to the source, the total fine imposed on him amounts to 216,666,666 Turkish pounds,

Considering that, according to the source, the Chief Prosecutor of the State Security Court of Ankara converted this fine into an additional prison term because Mr. Aksoy was unable to pay; that the Court computed the additional term of imprisonment using the formula " 10,000 TL equals one day's imprisonment ", up to a maximum of five years,

Considering also that, according to the source, this means that he will not be released before February 2001,

Noting that Mr. Aksoy submitted a petition to the European Commission on Human Rights (Aksoy vs. Turkey, N° 30171/96), which has not yet been declared admissible,

Bearing in mind that the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have recommended the abolition of Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Act,

Considering the assertion of the Turkish delegation that the Turkish Government was making every effort to bring Turkish legislation into line with European human rights standards and to permit consideration of the appeals made by many international organizations for the release of the MPs concerned, and that the fact that the combat against terrorism in south-eastern Turkey was coming to an end permitted a broader interpretation of the freedom of expression,

Considering that, according to the delegation, the Turkish Parliament adopted a law on 6 March 1997 which will benefit those currently prosecuted under certain penal norms, in particular the Anti-Terrorism Law; that, moreover, a draft law on parole has been tabled in Parliament which, upon adoption, will permit the release of the deputies currently serving their sentences,

  1. Thanks the Turkish delegation for the information and observations it provided and for its co-operation;
  2. Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Turkish authorities to bring Turkish legislation into line with European human rights standards and to heed the recommendations of several international organizations, and hopes that this will rapidly lead to the release of Mr. Aksoy;
  3. Requests the Secretary General to bring these considerations to the attention of the Turkish parliamentary authorities, inviting them to provide the Committee with the text of the new laws and inform it how they affect the situation of the MP concerned;
  4. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1997).

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