Özgür Gündem newspaper was was shut down on 16 August 2016 by a court in Turkey under the accusation that it was ‘making propaganda for an organisation’. Four defendants in the Özgür Gündem newspaper case have just been sentenced to prison after a trial in the İstanbul 23th Heavy Penal Court. Attorney, writer and prominent human rights defender Eren Keskin is one of the defendants in the trial who received a prison sentence.
A campaign was organized in social media for Eren Keskin with the hashtag: “We Are Not Going Anywhere” after the court’s decision. The campaign started immediately after Eren Keskin stated, after the trial ended: “Whatever you do, I am not going anywhere. I will continue to write and defend myself”.
Keskin was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for “membership of an organisation”. Zana Kaya was also sentenced to two years and one month in prison. She was accused of “destroying the unity of the state”, “propaganda for an organisation” and “membership of an organisation” for working as Chief-Editor-on-duty for Özgür Gündem. Özgür Gündem’s former publisher, Kemal Sancılı and its managing editor, İnan Kızılkaya, also received six years and three months sentences.
The campaign was launched on social media and has received support from many People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies, artists, writers, activists, NGOs, and political parties.
— Sezgin Tanrıkulu (@MSTanrikulu) February 16, 2021
Tüm insan hakları savunucularının yanındayız. Eren Keskin'in yanındayız.
— Remziye Tosun (@RemziyeTosunHDP) February 16, 2021
After the campaign was launched, Keskin published a message on her twitter account and thanked everyone for their support.
Bugün , bana verilen destek için müteşekkirim 🙏İnandığım her doğruyu savunmaya devam edeceğim. 1915 Soykırımı, Kürt ve Kürdistan sorunu, Lgbti + mücadelesi, kadınların kurtuluş mücadelesi., hepsi için.. Dünyayı, DİRENENLER değiştirir!!
— Eren Keskin (@KeskinEren1) February 16, 2021
“Today, I am grateful for the support given to me. I will continue to defend every truth I believe in. The 1915 Genocide, the Kurdish and Kurdistan issue, the LGBTI+ struggle, the women’s liberation struggle, all of them. The world can change only by the ones who RESIST!!”, she wrote.
Amnesty International “condemned the sentencing” of the four Turkish human rights defenders on ‘terrorism-related’ charges. Milena Buyum, Turkey Campaigner at Amnesty International stated: “A human rights lawyer who has spoken out against injustice for more than three decades has become the victim of injustice herself. Eren Keskin has dedicated her life to defending the rights of women, prisoners and fought for justice for the families of the disappeared. This verdict is yet another shocking example of anti-terrorism laws being used to criminalise legitimate, peaceful activities”.