METU Pride March Trial has been postponed again: Legal Opinion Not Ready!

The hearing of 18 students and an academic, who are being tried on charges of “attending illegal meetings and marches” and “not dispersing spontaneously despite a warning” while participating in the 9th METU Pride March, was held on December 10th, 2020.

How many seconds does it take for a group to disperse?

At the hearing, Attorney Öykü Didem Aydın pointed out that the detention was unlawful: “In our report, which is compatible with the expert report, it is seen that the first detention was made at 17.00, after the police announcement at 16.59. There are 20 seconds between the first detention and the announcement of the police! “

One of the defendants, Melike,  answered  the question “How many steps could you take after hearing the announcement?“: “I didn’t even hear the announcement. I was in front of the Çatı Cafe. I was away from the police, I was detained before I heard the announcement. I was detained 19 seconds after the announcement began.”

Who Banned The March?

Attorneys said that a ban on the 9th METU Pride March was not notified to the students and that no such ban was already in place. In the response given on behalf of the Republic of Turkey to the question asked by the United Nations about the issue;  it is stated that the march was banned by the rectorate, not the state.

Attorneys also presented to the court the decision of the administrative court revoking the rectorate’s ban decision. In the responses to the questions asked by the United Nations about the use of chemical weapons and tear gas, it is stated that the police used tear gas at 14:30; however, there is no such statement in the police reports.

The attorneys said, “There is no prohibition imposed by the governorship. There is no statement in the law that the Rector’s Office can ban meetings and demonstrations.  According to the administrative law,  the rector’s ban decision is an authority usurpation.” They emphasized that the decision of the rector was illegal.

“Today is December 10th, Human Rights Day”

Attorneys and defendants drew attention to the meaning and importance of the day and stated as follows: “Today is December 10th Human Rights Day. Today, the trial of  LGBTI+ activists is in violation of human rights, it is unlawful. “

The case was postponed to April 30th, as the opinion on the merits of the case had not been prepared by the prosecutor. The activists stated: “The prosecutor did not comment. The reason is unclear. The trial has been postponed to 30 April. The decision of the METU Pride March case was not announced on December 10th, Human Rights Day. An attempt is being made to hide this lawlessness. ” and they thanked everyone for their support and solidarity.

The source: UniKuir -They are following the case and convey the news.