Eren Keskin, a prominent lawyer and human rights defender in Turkey, was given a prison sentence for the solidarity she displayed with the Özgür Gündem Newspaper. Keskin was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison for working as “editor-in-chief on duty” in Özgür Gündem, which was a leading Kurdish media outlet that had become the target of the Turkish state for many years until it was completely banned.
“I have been charged so many times up until now, but this is the first time I am being punished for being a member of the organisation.” said Keskin, speaking to Mesopotamia Agency on the Özgür Gündem trial.
“This is a decision contrary to international conventions that Turkey has signed. You are charging a media outlet with terrorism, but you have no evidence,” Keskin said.
Having been also the co-chair of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD), Keskin underlined that she is not the one who is being punished, but rather it is the struggle for human rights that is the target of the Özgür Gündem trial.
“These accusations show how they feel threatened when the media makes news of human rights violations and this shows how they are frightened by the human rights struggle we raise,” she said.
“What they wrote about me is this: ‘She is the one who writes propaganda for the organisation’. We are talking about a mentality that sees a pen as a weapon. Such a mentality may never achieve peace and resolution,” Keskin noted.
She also highlighted that the Turkish court’s attitude exposed discrimination.
“They have marginalised us Kurds. The Court told us, ‘You are Kurds, I will seperate your files’. They have seperated Kurds from Turks. They have punished Kurds,” she stated.