Sevimli returns to France pending appeal over five-year prison sentence
ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency
DHA photoSevil Sevimli, a young French student of Turkish origin who was convicted to over five years in prison Feb. 15, returned to France on Feb. 20 after her travel ban was lifted pending an appeal as part of her sentencing.
Prosecutors had accused the 21-year-old Lyon Lumière University communication student who was enrolled in an exchange program at Anadolu University of being “member of an armed organization” and “spreading propaganda.”
The trial against Sevimli caused much indignation inside and outside Turkey as the charges in the indictment against her included participation in May Day demonstrations, unfurling a banner that read “We want free education” and watching a concert by Grup Yorum, a left-wing band.
Sevimli departed for the French city of Lyon from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport in the afternoon after her lawyers paid the10,000 Turkish Lira bail required for the cancellation of the travel ban earlier this week.
During a press conference Feb. 19, Sevimli emphasized that she did not intend on fleeing Turkey while waiting for the ruling of the Supreme Court. “The reason for [my going] is that my family and my friends are there. I am still a student and I intend to pass my exams when I go back,” she said adding that friends in France were shocked at her tribulations.
She also reiterated her socialist convictions, criticizing the fact that a lot of Turkish students had to pay a price for their political affiliation by going to prison.