Court states attending Gezi protest was a ‘right’ in release verdict of children
İsmail Saymaz ISTANBUL
DHA PhotoA local court has ruled in favor of the 24 children, detained last year for attending Gezi Park protests in the Aegean province of İzmir, claiming that they had the “right” to protest according to Turkey’s demonstrations law and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
During the ruling, the court stated that everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration without prior permission and to express and manifest his/her thoughts and opinions by speech, in writing or pictures or through other media formats, individually or collectively, in accordance with Article 26 and 34 of the Turkish Constitution.
A lawsuit was opened against some 24 children on charges of “violating the demonstration law,” “resisting arrest from public officers” and “damaging public property” after being detained during a protest that was attended by 35,000 people in İzmir on June 1, 2013.
The court dismissed the accusations saying that the children have the right to stage a protest as it within the law, adding that these rights are also guaranteed by the ECHR.
“There is no concrete evidence to prove that the children were carrying guns or staged an attack during the protests,” the courts stated.
All 24 children were released and the court also suspended the punishment of one child who had received a prison sentence of five months and 16 days for damaging local property.