Zana Aksu is the former president of the IHD (Human Rights Association) branch in Siirt, a town in Southeast Turkey. He is also editor-in-chief of a local news website called Siirt’ten Öte, which was closed down by the government. He is known for drawing attention to the mass graves after periods of conflict, as well as reporting on the many human rights violations in the Siirt region.
Aksu is a conscientious objector to military service. He has been detained many times and has been levied administrative fines and a suspended sentence.
Zana Aksu was charged with “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”. There are several court cases against him. One of these cases relates to him joining a press statement during a one-day strike on 29 December 2015, organised by trade unions. The strike was against curfews and armed violence, including the Turkish military intervention in East and Southeast Turkey against the armed organisation PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). Aksu is also being investigated for “membership to a terrorist organisation”.
The first hearing in this case has already taken place. The third hearing is on 6 November 2019,at the Siirt 2nd Criminal Court.