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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Ms. Leyla Zana, Mr. Hatip Dicle, Mr. Orhan Dogan, Mr. Selim Sadak and Mr. Mehmet Sinçar, former members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Taking account of the letter from the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group, dated 12 October 2008,

Recalling the following: Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak were sentenced in December 1994 to a 15-year prison term for being members of an armed organization; on 26 June 2001, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that they had not enjoyed a fair trial; the retrial before the Ankara State Security Court, which upheld the conviction, was quashed by the Court of Cassation, which ruled that their right to a fair trial had again not been respected and ordered a second retrial; at the closure of this second retrial in March 2007, the 11th High Criminal Court of Ankara sentenced Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak to seven years and six months in prison under Article 5 of Anti-Terrorism Law 3713 (prohibition on praising terrorism) and Article 314 (2) of the Turkish Penal Code (punishing membership of an illegal organization) as opposed to the original 15-year prison sentence, of which they had served 10 years; the second retrial was reportedly also flawed, in particular owing to the destruction of important exonerating evidence, and an application was therefore filed in the Court of Cassation; noting that on 27 February 2008 the Court handed down its ruling upholding the verdict of the 11th High Criminal Court of Ankara,

Recalling the following: Mr. Sinçar was assassinated in September 1993 in circumstances suggesting an extrajudicial execution; in January 2005, the then Turkish Minister of Justice affirmed that the killing had been carried out by members of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, an accusation which that group reportedly refuted; in October 1993 twelve persons were accused, two of whom were at large; in November 1994, all but those two suspects were acquitted for want of evidence; in April 1996, the then Minister of Justice stated that the identity of the murderer had been established but that he was living in the Islamic Republic of Iran; according to the information provided by the President of the Turkish IPU Group in January and April 2008, a criminal case regarding the murder of Mr. Sinçar was pending before the 6th Assize Court in Diyarbakir and hearings had been scheduled for 21 February and 8 May 2008; Mrs. Sinçar is, however, reportedly unaware of those proceedings; noting in this respect that, in his letter of 12 October 2008, the President of the Turkish IPU Group reported the following: the indictment prepared by the Diyarbakir State Security Court dated 24 May 2000 (2000/59) contains no information about a complainant; the review of the investigation documents and documents pertaining to the legal proceedings show that neither Mr. Sinçar's wife nor any relative was consulted as witness, that no notice was sent to Mrs. Sinçar, and that neither she nor any relative was informed of the proceedings or applied as “intervener” (civil party),

  1. Thanks the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group for the information provided and for his cooperation;

  2. Would appreciate receiving a copy of the final ruling of the Court of Cassation in the case of Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan;

  3. Understands from the information provided by the President of the Turkish IPU Group that in May 2000 an indictment was issued regarding the murder of Mr. Sinçar and proceedings conducted; would appreciate receiving information as to who was indicted and the result, if any, of the criminal proceedings;

  4. Is concerned that neither Mrs. Sinçar nor any other member of Mr. Sinçar's family was informed of the indictment and proceedings, still less called as witness, and that they were thus prevented from associating themselves as civil party to the case and from contributing, by providing testimony, to elucidating the murder; would appreciate receiving information as to why the authorities failed to inform Mr. Sinçar's family of the proceedings in question;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to seek the requested information from the parliamentary authorities and the sources;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).

* Mr. Orhan Dogan died on 29 June 2007.
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