28 Gezi protesters get suspended sentences in Kayseri

Twenty-eight out of 161 activists who were detained during a Gezi Park protest in Kayseri on June 1, 2013 were given suspended sentences of between five and 12 months on various charges by a Kayseri court on Monday.
The suspended sentences handed down by the Kayseri 8th Criminal Court of First Instance will be enforced in the event the activists repeat the crimes of and”defying laws on meetings and demonstrations,and” and”insulting a public officerand” and and”causing damage to propertyand” with which they were charged soon after the Gezi protest in Kayseri.
According to a Cihan news agency report on Monday, Seandckin andOztandurk, one of the lawyers representing the protesters, demanded their acquittal, saying: and”None of the [161] activists had intentions of committing crimes during the protest. They didnand’t act with the intention of andlsquodefying laws on meetings and demonstrations,and’ andlsquoinsulting a public officerand’ or committing other crimes they are charged with. They only used their constitutional right. Thus, I demand the acquittal of all the defendants.and”
Nebahat andulker, another lawyer representing the activists, said, and”There isnand’t an element of crime in the actions of the defendants, who merely exercised their democratic rights [during the protest].and”
What began as a peaceful demonstration against the governmentand’s plan to uproot trees to build a shopping mall on the site of Gezi Park, a green space in central Istanbul, spiraled into nationwide protests against then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s government after a brutal police crackdown on peaceful protesters on May 31, 2013.
The police force was criticized for excessive violence during the protests, though Erdogan praised the crackdown, saying the police suppression of the protest had been and”heroic.and” The protests, the biggest incident of unrest against a government in the history of the Turkish Republic and the first serious challenge to Erdoganand’s rule, caused a deeper divide in the already polarized nation. Erdogan accused the protesters of terrorism and attempting to overthrow his government.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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