Human Rights Association: Demand for Peace Cannot Be Punished

Yazar / Referans: 

Human Rights Association has released a statement of solidarity for Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel, the first Academic for Peace whose prison sentence has been upheld: “We call the national and international academic community to stand against this injustice.”

The Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Union of Political Science Graduates of Ankara University have denounced the 15-month prison sentence of Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel recently upheld by the court of appeal.

Emphasizing that the demand for peace cannot be punished, the İHD has stated, "We are a follower of the trials of Academics for Peace, we stand together with Füsun Üstel and all Academics for Peace."

In its ruling dated February 25, the 3rd Panel Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld the prison sentence of 1 year, 3 months given to Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel for having signed the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime" prepared by Academics for Peace.

Being upheld by the court of appeal by majority of votes, the prison sentence given to Üstel on April 4, 2018 has become definite.

A call to courts to give verdicts of acquittal

In its written statement released on March 7, the İHD said,

"The trials, which have become a symbol for the complete disregard of the judiciary and the government of Turkey towards the standards of human rights, have to be immediately concluded and verdicts of acquittal must be given for all academics tried for having signed the declaration.

"We call the whole national and international academic community to stand against this injustice and violation of rights.

"We call the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to give priority to the appeals made by the Academics for Peace and to give judgements without delay in order to stop this injustice.

"We call the heavy penal courts to conclude the trials of Academics for Peace in accordance with the Constitution and international conventions and to rule for the acquittal of the academics."

"We will never give up demanding peace"

The Executive Board of the Union of Political Science Graduates of Ankara University has also denounced the upheld prison sentence of Üstel:

"As required by our commitment to the rule of law and democracy, we declare that we stand together with Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel and all scientists put on trial due to their demand for peace.

"In the face of the government mentality antagonizing the opposition and critical thought, we will not give up on the demand for justice in struggling for the rule of law and democracy."

About Zübeyde Füsun Üstel

Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel is an academic at Galatasaray University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. She received her Master's degree from the University of Johns Hopkins in Italy in 1980-1981 and started working as a research assistant at İstanbul University, Faculty of Economics.

She completed her PhD at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University in 1987. Becoming a lecturer at Galatasaray University, Üstel has published a series of articles in Turkey-based and international journals of social sciences. Her articles have mostly focused on the history of Turkey, nationalism and issues of identity.