Journalist & publisher Ragıp Zarakolu who has been living abroad for several years is being called for by Turkey with a Red Notice regarding a court case on the speech he had given at by-then Peace & Democracy Party’s Politics Academy. Zarakolu said “this has no other purpose than harassment”.
dokuz8NEWS / Gürkan Özturan
In 2011, Ragıp Zarakolu had participated the Peace & Democracy Party BDP Politics Academy, where he gave a speech and a court case had been opened against him for “aiding & abetting terrorism”. In the Red Notice order the reasoning has been put as “it has been decided on September 28, 2018 at 10 am for issuing a Red Notice and demand of extradition from the country of Sweden for suspect Ragıp Zarakolu, moreover in order for his testimony to be taken for Zarakolu to be brought to the court or the arrest warrant dated June 7, 2018 to be put in place for him to participate video-conference for giving his testimony.
CASE HAD TO BE DISMISSED
Zarakolu has commented on the Red Notice issued for his name, and spoke to dokuz8NEWS. Zarakolu reminded that after his unjust arrest in October 2011 local and international pressure had resulted in his release in April 2012, “I was kept in prison regardless of the court case. In 2014 due to the so called judicial reform the court that was looking at my case, Heavy Penal Court Number: 14 has been abolished even, and the judges and prosecutors who had been leading my case have been arrested in 2016 as part of coup investigations.” Zarakolu continued his explanation saying the court case should have been dropped but the case was instead sent to the Heavy Penal Court Number: 3 as it is.
ONLY SERVES FOR HARASSMENT PURPOSES
Zarakolu stated that the court has issued an arrest warrant after 6 years on the same case, “moreover they have issued a Red Notice on my name through Interpol. This serves no other purpose than harassment and disrespect.”
Zarakolu named his gratitude for the solidarity shown for his release in 2011 and 2012, “however today I would like to unfortunately notify you that we are back where we have started; or even worse, raising the bar from unjust arrest to the level of international harassment. The harassment targeting Taner Akçam who went to New Zealand for a conference is also linked to this.”
NEXT HEARING IS ON SEPTEMBER 28
Zarakolu announced that his articles on human rights, minority rights, free expression and defending peace are disturbing certain circles “let them be disturbed though, my path continues. My next hearing will be on September 28, it is crucial for me to lead a campaign to get this Red Notice lifted before that. I am grateful for your sensitivity.”