Prosecutor demands imprisonment for activists taking part in women’s rights march

Photo: Twitter @morcativakfi

A Turkish prosecutor has demanded prison sentences of up to one year for 35 people who were detained in 2020 for participating in a women’s rights march, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Tuesday.

The defendants are accused of attending an unauthorized demonstration and not dispersing despite police warnings, according to the report.

Held in İstanbul, the hearing concerned a night march organized in 2020 on the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day.

The activists were intercepted by the police as they attempted to march towards İstanbul’s historic Taksim Square.

The case was adjourned until May 2 after the defendants’ lawyers requested time to prepare their defense statements.

One of İstanbul’s major landmarks, Taksim is often the location of choice for activists staging protests. Turkish authorities frequently ban leftist and feminist demonstrations planned to be held in Taksim.

Although Turkey’s constitution protects the right to peaceful assembly, the authorities have in recent years been systematically imposing restrictions on certain locations, citing national security and public order.

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