Pro-Kurdish activist arrested

Submitted by Matthew on 29 June, 2016 - 8:48 Author: Simon Nelson

British academic and socialist activist Chris Stephenson was arrested on 15 March after attending a hearing for activists who had signed a Academics for Peace statement calling on Turkey to end its attacks on the rights of Kurds.

After being searched at the court and been found to have in his possession leaflets advertising Kurdish new year and produced by the Kurdish HDP, he was charged with making “propaganda for a terrorist organisation.”

He was acquitted and released on 23 June. During his trial he was firm in stating that calling for peace could not be viewed as terrorism and called for the release and acquittal of two journalists and another academic who had been arrested after showing their support for Özgür Gündem, a pro-Kurdish publication.

Stephenson has a long history with the IST (the SWP’s international groups) in Britain and Turkey.

Stephenson’s arrest is part of a wave of repression how taking place in Turkey.

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