(New York) — Prior to the expected verdict in Turkey on Wednesday, July 17 in the trial of Erol Önderoğlu, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and Ahmet Nesin, in which they are accused of creating terrorist propaganda by taking part in a solidarity campaign for the Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, PEN America issued the comments below and called for the acquittal of all three defendants.

“The trial of these prominent writers, journalists, and rights defenders, concocted on the basis of spurious and politicized charges, has been a farce from the very start, intended to stifle free expression and intimidate civil society,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Director of Free Expression at Risk Programs at PEN America. “Despite the lack of evidence and absurd charges, they have been subject to severe judicial harassment for more than three years, along with periods behind bars and other restrictions on their activity. We call for the final hearing of Önderoğlu, Korur-Fincancı, and Nesin to deliver justice to the individuals, and their full acquittal.”

 

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. pen.org

 

Contact: PEN America Media Consultant Suzanne Trimel, strimel@pen.org