By Emir Çelik
ISTANBUL (Bianet.org) — On Thursday, March 10, author Mehmet Güler and Belge Publishing executive Ragıp Zarakolu were convicted on charges of “spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party” (PKK) by reason of the book The KCK file/Global state and Kurds without a State. Their conviction came despite the prosecutor’s plead for their acquittal. The book was immediately banned and confiscated in May 2010 right after it had been published at the first book fair in Diyarbakir.
Prosecutor Kasım Ilimoglu said at the third and final hearing, “According to the criminal law, handing down a restricting prison sentence on the grounds of this sort of publications does not comply with a moderate and democratic society.”
In his final speech, Ilimoglu emphasized, “The principle of not to accuse anybody because of his/her thoughts and opinions which shall not even be limited during war or other extraordinary circumstances according to Article 15 of the Constitution should be taken into account.”
“The line between freedom of thought and expression and spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization has to be clearly defined from case to case. In our opinion, the criminal law has to be used extremely carefully and limited in this kind of issues.”
“In the name of the people I request the acquittal of both defendants because the offences imputed on the defendants lack legal elements of crime.”