Convicted French student hopes to prove innocence
French-Turkish university student Sevil Sevimli, center, is welcomed by her father, behind left, and relatives, upon her arrival from Turkey at Saint-Exupery airport in Lyon, central France, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. AP Photo/Laurent CiprianiSevil Sevimli, a young French student of Turkish origin who was convicted to over five years in prison last week, has announced that will she will attend an appeal hearing in order to secure an acquittal that would allow her to freely travel to Turkey.
Sevimli, who has dual French-Turkish citizenship, told French broadcaster France 3 in a recent interview that she wanted to prove her innocence so that she can peacefully return in the future to the country.
The woman also said she hoped her case would contribute to a mobilization for political prisoners in Turkey, while underlining the necessity of developments on the issue. "I've learned a lot about Turkey, even its prisons.”
Sevimli, who returned to France on Feb. 20 after her travel ban was lifted pending an appeal as part of her sentencing, was welcomed with great interest by the French media, in addition to her family and friends.
Prosecutors accused the 21-year-old Lyon Lumière University communication student, who was enrolled in an exchange program at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, of being a “member of an armed organization” and “spreading propaganda,” after she participated in May Day demonstrations and unfurled a banner that read “We want free education.”