Monday, November 22, 2010

"Statements constituting propaganda."

The tromping of Turkish jackboots:

1. November 11 - Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin accuses the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) of violating Turkey’s 'Law on Political Parties' by letting its members speak Kurdish at a meeting. Apparently the deputy leader of the party was also heard to deliver a speech in Kurdish.

2. November 19 - Aisling Reidy of Human Rights Watch observes that the Turkish government's arbitary persecution of legal political parties by sham resort to anti-terrorism laws has resulted in charges being brought against peaceful protestors, 152 members and officials of the former Democratic Society Party and its successor the Peace and Democracy Party (which has 20 members in parliament), mayors, a prominent human rights defender, and lawyers. Across Turkey around 1,700 party members are in detention. "The arbitrary use of anti-terror laws against acts of political opposition violates human rights central to a functioning democracy - freedom of expression, association and assembly -- and undermines the rule of law."

3. November 22 - Nineteen parliamentary deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party face a combined 2,473 years in prison for 544 cases opened against them. Charges allege the deputies made statements constituting propaganda.

Not unrelated, "the solidarity of a Sunni Kurdish Socialist is a prize more worth having": How strange it is that a brave and humane social democrat is now the elected president of Iraq, attracting approximately zero sympathy from the Western liberal left.


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