Italy: trial against Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic has started


Protest rally in front of the court

On June 10 the trial against Avni Er and Zeynep Kilic, two Turkish comrades arrested in Italy on April 1, 2004 (together with free leaders of the Anti-imperialist Camp who later were released). The accusation revolves around "membership and association with terrorist ends" (article 270 bis) as modified after September 11.

In the first hearing nearly all objections put forward by the defense were rejected. For the court is was irrelevant that not even the main documents were translated into Turkish language; furthermore it was maintained irrelevant that the advocats were not allowed to pass to Avni Er the CD with all the documents in Italian. This decision of the prison administration was even confirmed by the examining magistrate. The demand to postpone the beginning of the process to give Avni Er at least the possibility to get a glimpse of the files was refused. The court maintained that the social and political circumstances of Turkey have no relevance whatsoever and that related materials and witnesses will not be taken into acount. The judge followed the view of the procurator holding that the accusation would be terrorism and not evasion of the democratic order.

For the judge the violation of the elementary democratic, political and human rights by the Turkish government does not count of which the resistance agianst the regime established by a bloody military coup in 1980 is the consequence. Even according to international law this resistance, which assumed armed forms, under certain aspects can be considered legitimate and has nothing to do with terrorism.

But on the other hand the court accepts to hear the testimony of a agent of the Turkish intelligence service.

Any unbiased observator must have had the impression that the final verdict has been already written. It should serve as a precedent for the further criminalisation of those resisting capitalist, imperialist, anti-democratic and warmongering regimes.

That is way we have not only to defend those two comrades but the comprehensive attack which runs under the name of "war on terror" and "clash of cilviliation" of which the "black lists" are an outflow.

Maria Grazia Ardizzone
Spokesperson of the Anti-imperialist Camp, Italy
Accused of having supported the alleged "terrorist activities" of Avni and Zeynep