Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session
(Cairo, 16 September 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/161/10(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 160th session (April 1997) concerning the case of Mr. Ibrahim Aksoy, of Turkey,

Taking account of the information provided by the Turkish delegation to the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (September 1997),

Taking account of the information provided by the source on 6 May and 27 June 1997,

Recalling that, in March 1994, Mr. Aksoy was found guilty of separatist propaganda under Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law 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 Law on 27 October 1995, was reduced to 10 months' imprisonment and a fine of 83,333,333 Turkish pounds,

Recalling that, in December 1996, the Chief Prosecutor of the State Security Court of Ankara converted this fine into an additional five-year prison term because Mr. Aksoy was unable to pay,

Considering that Mr. Aksoy was released in May 1997, the fine having finally been paid,

Recalling the assertion of the Turkish delegation at the 97th and 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conferences (April and September 1997) that the Turkish Government was making every effort to bring Turkish legislation into line with European human rights standards, and that the approaching end of the fight against terrorism in south-eastern Turkey permitted a broader interpretation of the concept of freedom of expression; that a series of laws had been adopted in this respect and in particular, on 14 August 1997, an amnesty granted to writers, journalists and scientists sentenced on account of having exercised their right to freedom of speech,

1. Notes the release of Mr. Aksoy upon completion of his sentence and payment of the fine;

2. Still considers that he has been prosecuted merely on account of exercising his right to freedom of speech, and regrets that he was sentenced;

3. Notes with satisfaction that the Turkish Government has taken steps to broaden its interpretation of the scope of freedom of expression which, it hopes, would in future prevent charges being laid against persons exercising such freedom;

4. Requests the Committee to close the file.

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 98th Conference and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size approximately 1160K). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader

Human rights of parliamentarians | Home page | Main areas of activity | Structure and functioning