The Kobane Trial, involving 108 defendants, including former co-chairs and Central Executive Board members of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), continues in a 53rd hearing on 1 August, at Sincan Prison Courtroom in Turkey’s capital Ankara.
The trial has been marked by controversy, with the HDP criticising it for arbitrary practices and restrictions on defence rights.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the HDP has expressed concerns over the trial’s acceleration ahead of elections, with some defendants’ defences not even heard. The party has also criticised the court for giving a hearing date during the judicial holiday, disregarding requests for a fair and sufficient period to prepare against the 5,268-page opinion presented in the previous hearing period.
The HDP has accused the court of showing bias by tolerating threatening statements against the defendants in the courtroom while restricting their defence rights. The party has also criticised the involvement of almost all state institutions in the trial.
The HDP’s Law and Human Rights Commission, which has been following the case from the beginning, has framed the Kobane Trial as a struggle between “those fighting for democracy on one side, and those trying to establish the ISIS mentality in these lands on the other.” The Commission has called on all legal organisations, bars, civil society organisations, and the democratic public to participate in the hearing that will begin on Tuesday and to take a stand for democracy.