24 year-old given 21 years for throwing molotov coctails during protests
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A Diyarbakır Court sentenced 24-year-old Muhammed Bazancir to 21 years in prison and fined him 10,000 Turkish Liras for using molotov cocktails and holding a flag of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in two separate protests in the eastern province of Bingöl, the private broadcaster CNNTürk reported on its website today.
Bazancir had been jailed pending trial on the claims of a secret witness, following the protests on Nov. 27, 2010 and the Nevruz celebrations on March 20, 2011 in Bingöl province. However, the witness expressed that the alleged statement did not belong to him on the previous trial.
Lawyer Fethi Gümüş denied the accusations of Bazancir by emphasizing the witness' situation to the court. "Police forced me to sign the statement without reading it" the witness, A. B., said at the previous trial. "They made me a secret witness and ordered me not to tell this situation to my parents ... I became a secret witness in this way. I guess my secret name is 'Duman,' but I do not accept the statement that I gave under the secret name of Duman", he added.
The court found Bazancir guilty of illegally protesting, damaging property and using molotov bombs in the Nevruz celebrations of 2011, despite the fact that the secret witness changed his statement.