TJA Spokesperson Ayşe Gökkan sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

TJA Spokesperson Ayşe Gökkan has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison on charges of “Knowingly and willfully helping a (terrorist) organization”.

Amed- Ayşe Gökkan, Spokesperson of the Free Women's Movement (Kurdish: Tevgera Jinên Azad-TJA), stood trial today on charges of “Knowingly and willfully helping a (terrorist) organization” due to  “The Democratic Solution Tent” set up at the Mitani Culture Center, belonging to the Nusaybin Municipality in 2011 when she was the mayor of the Nusaybin Municipality.

Turkey’s Supreme Court overturned the seven and six months prison sentence against Ayşe Gökkan. The final hearing of the retrial was held today by the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court. Ayşe Gökkan attended the hearing from Sincan Women’s Closed Prison through Audio-Visual Information System (SEGBİS) from prison. In her defense in Kurdish, Ayşe Gökkan stated that the court has lost its impartiality since the beginning and that their demand for the recusation were rejected by the court. “I reject this court, its judge, its president, even its clerk,” she said.

Noting that she had sent a 20-page defense to the court, Ayşe Gökkan said that she would not add anything to her defense, “Jin, jiyan, azadi cannot be tried.”

Lawyers refused to make a defense

Ayşe Gökkan’s lawyer Muharrem Şahin refused to defend in order to protest the court because “The court prevented our defense. Our client’s request to make a defense in Kurdish was repeatedly denied. Despite our client suffering from hearing problems, she always attends the hearing through SEGBİS. We think that our right to defend our client has been prevented due to the situation we have been subjected to both inside and outside the court. We do not think the court will make a fair decision. This trial is a theater.”

‘Women, Life and Freedom cannot be tried’

Özüm Vurgun, another lawyer of Ayşe Gökkan, talked about the negative attitude of the court towards themselves and their client. “We cannot talk about the law and the philosophy of law at this court because this trial is a political trial. It is not a fair trial. We refuse to make a defense in front of a court that we have rejected.”

When the court asked if Ayşe Gökkan wanted to add something, Ayşe Gökkan said, “I reject this court, women, life and freedom cannot be tried.” 

The court has sentenced Ayşe Gökkan to three years and nine months in prison.