Int`l Platform Against Isolation
Brussels, March 8, 2005
Let us not abandon Sandra Bakutz!
Let us support Sandra!
Sandra Bakutz flew to Turkey on February 10, 2005 to observe a trial. It was no ordinary trial. Instead it was a trial known as the "April 1 Trial".
At the request of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close friend of Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, democratic institutions and the homes of progressive people were raided in Germany, Belgium and Holland. But the actual operation took place in Turkey and Italy. In the operation of April 1, 2004 in Turkey, over 100 persons were arrested. After the raid the police claimed to have seized diskettes but in reality they prepared these diskettes themselves. The state in Turkey arrested all those who fight for rights and freedoms because it wants to remove them from the picture. With the help of Berlusconi, it had simultaneous raids carried out in Europe to give its conspiracy the appearance of legitimacy.
Sandra Bakutz flew to Turkey on February 10, 2005 in order to observe the trial the next day. She is someone who resists human rights violations and injustices. At the same time she herself has become a victim of injustice.
She was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the 2nd State Security Court in Ankara in 2001, accusing her of "membership of a terrorist association".
For days they refused to reveal what records and proof they had for making such a statement.
Only after repeated, stubborn queries from the Austrian consulate did they give an explanation.
The state prosecutor`s office gave the court the formal charge in writing on February 25.
It stated that on November 28, 2000 in the European Parliament, Sandra Bakutz had protested against the visit of the Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem and had supported Ilhan Yelkuvan, who was involved in a protest action while in a German prison and was on hunger strike to protest at being in solitary confinement.
The biggest-circulation Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet of November 29, 2000 is cited. But Sandra`s name is not mentioned in this article, nor is she to be seen in the accompanying picture.
This is what is said in the formal charge written by Ankara state prosecutor Mustafa Kelkit:
"The investigation file has been checked. As is known, the organisation DHKP-C intends to overthrow the constitutional order by force and replace with a state constructed on Marxist principles, it is a terrorist group that carries out armed actions. The photo present in the file of the incident in the newspaper Hurriyet, information from Interpol Belgium and the contents of the document prove that on 28.11.2000 two members of the terror group DHKP-C got into the European Parliament when the then Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was speaking and they made threats such as "Murderer Cem! We will demand a reckoning from you!"
The accused Sandra BAKUTZ, moreover, participated in a press conference at the Brussels International Press Centre as chairperson of the support committee for Ilhan YELKUVAN (a member of the terror group DHKP-C) and supported his hunger strike in a penal institution in Germany: so it is certain from these actions that the accused is a member of the illegal armed terror group DHKP-C; the accused is to appear before the 11th serious crimes court."
So according to this, Sandra in Turkey is being punished for actions allegedly committed abroad. Here Turkey must explain first of all why it is taking on itself the right to accuse someone over something that happened in Brussels.
What law justifies it? Apart from that, it was not Sandra Bakutz who protested in the European Parliament. In any case, a protest action is not a criminal offence but is a democratic right.
She is also to be tried for supporting Ilhan Yelkuvan when he resisted inhuman conditions in Germany.
What Turkish law says it is a crime to support a prisoner who is in a German jail?
So on International Women`s Day, Sandra Bakutz has been deprived of her freedom for 27 days for something that is of not the slightest concern to the justice system of Turkey.
Whether it is the police who beat women in the streets for celebrating International Women`s Day, or whether it is the prosecutor who without proof had Sandra arrested, or the police who falsified evidence for the April 1 trial - they all serve the same state.
The imprisonment of Sandra, like the brutal attack by Turkish security forces on participants in an International Women`s Day celebration last Sunday and the arrest of 100 people with the help of falsified evidence, is a scandal and a mockery of democracy.
With her arrest, Sandra was prevented from observing the trial. But that was not the only reason for her unjust arrest. Sandra fought untiringly for human rights in Turkey and in the entire world. She denounced human rights violations. Sandra Bakutz supported political prisoners who were arrested for their beliefs and for taking part in the fight for rights and freedoms.
Not only did she support them, but she made their situation known to European public opinion.
For Sandra is also a journalist. She worked for the Berlin daily newspaper "Junge Welt" and the Viennese radio station "Radio Orange". Today on March 8, International Women`s Day, Sandra Bakutz has been robbed of her freedom for the past 27 days.
On March 30, 2005, the trial of Sandra will take place. We call all organisations, institutions, individuals and human right defenders to participate on March 30 as observers of her trial in Ankara.
Let us not abandon Sandra Bakutz!
Let us support Sandra Bakutz!
Let us show the state in Turkey that we stand behind Sandra.
So that the states sees that it cannot "arbitrarily rob people of their freedom" by calling them "terrorists".
Let us be in Ankara on March 30!