Deaf and dumb man imprisoned by Turkish government over claims of ‘chanting slogan’

Kenan Keklik, a 54 years old Kurdish man, who is deaf and dumb, was sentenced by a Turkish court to 3 years, 1 month and 15 days imprisonment on charges of ‘making propaganda by chanting slogans in favor of a terror organisation,” reported by the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency.

It was reported that Keklik was imprisoned despite of the reports given by the state hospitals and Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) which have been showing that he has 75 percent of disability in hearing and speaking.

Keklik was arrested on charges of “making propaganda for a terror organization” in a civil disobedience protest initiated by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which was closed in 2014, in Malazgirt district of of Muş province on April 26, 2011. Keklik sentence for imprisonment was approved by the appeal court.

Keklik, who had previously been arrested and put Muş E-Type Closed Prison for 9 months, was arrested again on July 11, 2017 and sent to Van T-Type Closed Prison after being sentenced to 3 years 1 month 15 days imprisonment for the alleged “propaganda for the terror organization.”

Having 75 percent of disability reports from the state hospitals Muş and Van and from GATA, Keklik was acquitted after he stayed in the Erzurum H-Type Closed Prison for a while. However, it was revealed that Keklik’s 9-month imprisonment in Muş E-Type Closed Prison was not deducted from his period of jail time.

Stating that since childhood, he had hearing and speech impairment, Keklik explained his unjust suffering in written as follows “I can not hear or speak for 54 years. I also have reports from state hospitals. In 2011, I was arrested for making propaganda. The reason is ‘shouting slogan in favor of the terror organisation.’ And I had a shemagh on my head. First, I can not speak, how come I’m chanting? Secondly, I do not get how having shemagh is a crime. Despite my reports, I was convicted and approved for shouting slogans. There is no evidence other than that. I was maligned. There is no word to say!”

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