Back in 2004 Uğur Kaymaz, a 12-year old Kurdish boy, was shot 13 times by undercover Turkish security police outside his home in Kızıltepe between Mardin and the Syrian border. The police then shot Ahmet Kaymaz, the boy’s father.
Police were acquitted of the crime of excessive force a few years later. The Eskişehir Court ruled that the police action was within the limits of self-defence.
Now six years later, Uğur’s uncle Reşat Kaymaz and five others, have been sentenced to one year in prison for commemorating the deaths of Ahmet and Uğur.
The six who were convicted (Fara Akbulut, Deniz Yüksel, Engin Ayaydın, Adil Başaran, Reşat Kaymaz and Hasan Budak) had attended a commemoration ceremony for Ahmet and Uğur Kaymaz at the cemetery. They put up posters of the father and the son and organised a protest march from the city centre to their graves where they had a minute of silence, sang Kurdish marches and chanted slogans such as ‘Uğur and Ahmet are in the grave, the murderers are out there.’ This, according to the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court, is propaganda in favour of the PKK and a violation of Article 7 of the country’s Anti-Terror Law.
The defendants did not attend the hearing and were notified of the outcome via mail.
The police were acquitted for shooting an unarmed 12-year-old boy in the back and then killing his father. But friends and family will be sent to prison for remembering the victims of this crime. Where is the justice?
‘Everyone but the killers has received a sentence,’ said Human Rights Association ( İHK) District Chairman Erdal Kuzu. He also said the Anti-Terrorism Law was used effectively to prevent people from speaking about such instances and restricted freedoms of thought and the freedom of speech.
Recently a case was brought against family members of Aydın Erdem for putting an inscription on Aydın’s headstone in Kurdish. This too, say prosecutors, is terrorist propaganda.