A court in Diyarbakır (Amed) prohibited the jailed Kurdish activist Ayşe Gökkan from making her defence speech in her mother language, Kurdish, according to Mesopotamia Agency.
Ayşe Gökkan a prominent Kurdish politican and a women’s rights activist has been jailed in Diyarbakır Women’s Closed Prison since 28 January on charges of “terrorism.”
At the 20th hearing of her ongoing trial, Gökkan was prohibited from presenting her defence in Kurdish.
In court documents where defence speeches have been presented in Kurdish and have not been accepted, the Kurdish language has been recorded as an “unknown” language or “a language that the court committee could not understand” or “a language claimed to be Kurdish”.
Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court ruled a decision that Ayşe Gökkan cannot make a defence speech in Kurdish, except for the “first and last” hearing.
Upon the rejection of the court’s request for defense in Kurdish, Gökkan refused to defend herself, stating that “she would not make any defence speech in Turkish.”
The lawyers of Ayşe Gökkan who attended the hearing, demanded her immediate release. The court denied Ayşe Gökkan’s release and postponed the hearing to 23rd June.
‘We do not know why she is in prison’
Gökkan’s lawyer Muharrem Şahin made a defence in the court and demanded Gökkan be physically brought to the courtroom for the next hearing, as the court had forced Gökkan to join the hearing over SEGBIS, a video-call system implemented in Turkish courts, where the trials are seen without the physical attendance of the defendants, but connecting the court room over a video-call.
“We don’t know why our client is under arrest. There are no grounds given in the file that would require her arrest. Previously she made her defence regarding the case and was released. She was out of town when the court ruled her arrest, and she came and attended the court. They know that my client will not escape as she never has done before,” Şahin said.
Berfin Gökkan, another lawyer of Gokkan spoke about the contradictions within the indictments prepared against her.
“Since the police thought they were too smart, a witness named Zeynep Budak shared testimonies against my client two separate files of my client. However, in Zeynep Budak’s last statement, it turned out that the police had shown my client’s photo to her and she did not recognize Gökkan. It is obvious that this witness is not reliable,” Berfin Gökkan said.