Academic Özlem Şendeniz has been acquitted after the Constitutional court ruled in July that the sentences violate the academics’ freedom of expression.
A court ruled for a verdict of acquittal for the first time in the trial of the Academics for Peace who have been charged with “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” for having signed the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime.”
İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court ruled for the acquittal of Research Associate Özlem Şendeniz from the Iğdır University in the final hearing at the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
Stating that he changed his opinion as to the accusations where he requested a sentence upon the Anti-Terror Law Article 7/2, the prosecutor explained his new opinion. He requested the acquittal of the defendant, citing the Constitutional Court ruling which said the declaration is within the scope of freedom of expression.
The General Assembly of the Constitutional Court on July 26 concluded the individual applications of ten academics, ruling that the freedom of expression of the academics was violated.
The court also ruled that the applicants shall be paid 9 thousand liras (~1575 US dollars) of compensation, the rights violation shall be removed and a copy of the decision shall be sent to local courts for retrial.
According to the ruling, local courts shall rule for a retrial in the continuing and finalised cases. The courts of appeal shall overturn sentences.
The Commission of State of Emergency, which has not yet concluded the applications by academics, should also take the ruling into consideration.
Academics can apply to the Council of State if they are rejected by the Commission. The Constitutional court ruling is binding for the Council of State. In case it does not remove the decisions of dismissal, the Constitutional Court will evaluate the subject.