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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the cases 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/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

Taking into account the letter of the President of the IPU Group dated 6 April 2009 and the information he provided at the hearing on the occasion of the 120th IPU Assembly,

Recalling that, on 27 February 2008, the Court of Cassation handed down its ruling upholding the verdict on appeal sentencing Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak to seven years and six months in prison under Article 5 of Anti-Terrorism Act 3713 (prohibition on praising terrorism) and Article 314 (2) of the Turkish Penal Code (punishing membership of an illegal organization) instead of the original 15-year prison sentence, of which they had served 10 years, and which had, on two different occasions, been recognized as the outcome of an unfair trial,

Noting that, in relation to nine separate speeches she delivered between July 2007 and March 2008, Ms. Zana was charged on 7 May 2008 with spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, by reportedly stating that Mr. Abdullah Ocalan should be regarded as one of three Kurdish leaders; on 4 December 2008, the 5th Assize Court in Diyarbakir, taking into consideration Ms. Zana's previous conviction of membership in a terrorist organization, found her guilty of the same crime, sentenced her to a 10-year prison term and revoked her political rights; her lawyers and the Prosecutor have appealed against the judgment; the case is awaiting a decision of the Court of Cassation,

Recalling that the President of the Turkish IPU Group had previously provided the following information with respect to the assassination of Mr. Sinçar in September 1993 in circumstances suggesting an extrajudicial execution: a criminal case regarding the murder was pending before the 6th Assize Court in Diyarbakir and hearings were scheduled for 21 February and 8 May 2008; the indictment prepared by the Diyarbakir State Security Court, dated 24 May 2000 (2000/59), contained 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 a 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); considering that, according to the letter of the President of the Turkish IPU Group, the Court in Diyarbakir had recently requested the Court of Kiziltepe, where Mr. Sincar's family formerly resided, to call them to be heard in the case; as at 12 March 2009, there had been no response from Mr. Sincar's family,

  1. Thanks the President of the Turkish IPU Group for his constant cooperation and for the information he provided, including the requested copy of the ruling of the Court of Cassation concerning Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak;

  2. Considers that it can now close the further examination of their case inasmuch as it concerns the case of Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan Mr. Sadak and Ms. Zana; nevertheless expresses deep regret that they spent 10 years in prison when they were finally sentenced to seven years and six months' imprisonment, with the result that they were deprived of their right to liberty for two and a half years, following excessively long proceedings owing to the fact that violations of the right to fair trial necessitated two retrials, a situation which has always been of great concern; requests the Committee, with respect to the 10-year prison sentence handed down recently on Ms. Zana on account of an accusation similar to the previous one, to follow the proceedings under its confidential procedure;

  3. Is confident that the Kiziltepe court has indeed contacted Mr. Sinçars family, and would appreciate being kept informed of any developments in this connection; would appreciate more detailed information on the identity of the alleged culprit(s) and their motives, and more generally, the outcome of the hearings so far held;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the sources, inviting them to provide the requested information on Mr. Sinçar;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining the case of Mr. Sinçar under its public procedure and to report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 121st Assembly of the IPU (October 2009).

* Mr. Orhan Dogan died on 29 June 2007.
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