In an extensive and thoroughly researched investigative report — to be released in late August — the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies calls on Turkey to drop all charges against scientists, engineers and doctors accused of terrorism-related crimes. These include Drs. Guruz, Haberal, Hilmioglu and others for whom CCS has advocated. The authors — Nobel Laureate Peter Diamond, German surgeon Hans-Peter Zenner, and Carol Corillon, executive director of the International Human Rights Network –conclude that “there appears to be no credible basis on which to judge any of our eight colleagues guilty of committing the crimes of which they have been accused.”
The pre-publication report, available on www.nationalacademies.org/humanrights was based on recent visits to colleagues in jail, their families and lawyers, and on interviews with government officials, journalists and others, as well as on reports and articles, particularly the findings of the European Commission on three of the trials in 2012.
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The report’s authors paint a dark picture of the ongoing mass trials of hundreds of military and civilian defendants in which these professionals are involved. Years of pre-trial detention, catch-all indictments consisting of thousands of pages, special tribunals chosen to favor prosecution, accepting false and doctored evidence that cannot be rebutted, and pervasive inability by those accused to defend themselves, are typical of the highly political trials.
According to reports, the verdicts in the case of these defendants will be handed down on August 5. The prosecutors have asked for life sentences.
- Turkish Government Unfairly Prosecuting Eight Academics, Report Concludes (news.sciencemag.org)
- Academies expose plight of jailed Turkish scientists (blogs.nature.com)
- Prominent Turkish Academic Attempts Suicide in Jail (news.sciencemag.org)
- Turkish Justice: Settling Scores, Punishing Enemies (humanrightsinturkey.org)
- UN Working Group on Arbitary Detentinons: Sledgehammer defendants held in contravention to Universal Declaration on Human Rights (humanrightsinturkey.org)