Doğanoğlu: Prescription application violates legal security

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  • 12:56 24 September 2022
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ANKARA - Emphasizing that the Turkish judiciary arbitrates politics as a political tool, Attorney Senem Doğanoğlu said: "This situation has spread from the most ordinary cases brought before the judiciary to major political cases."
The trials of extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances committed in Turkey in the 1990s were ended with the systematic judicial games of the AKP government after decades.
The ongoing trial regarding the murder of Kurdish scholar and journalist Musa Anter on September 20, 1992 in Diyarbakır, where the truth has not been “accessed” for 30 years, was dropped due to the prescription at the hearing held on September 21. Lawyer Senem Doğanoğlu evaluated the issue to the Mesopotamia Agency.
Reminding that the massacres committed against the Kurdish people in the 1990s were closed "very quickly" with the investigations opened in those years, Doğanoğlu said:"They were reopened with the efforts of the victims relatives and human rights defenders, but the cases were closed with the prescription instead of revealing the murder. The judiciary arbitrates politics as a political tool. This situation has spread from the most ordinary cases brought before the judiciary to major political cases."
Doğanoğlu said: "People's memories are not formed by judicial decisions. The definitions of 'crimes against humanity' and 'genocide crimes' were introduced into the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) in 2004. The 'crime against humanity' discussions are carried out by lawyers in JİTEM cases and similar torture cases. The most visible discussions were the case against the September 12 Military Coup and the Madımak Massacre Case. In the September 12 trials, it was argued that there would be no prescription, and whether it would be a crime against humanity was discussed before the prosecutor's office, but in the court decision it was only one time and its feasibility debate remained. The prosecutor, who wanted the Madımak Massacre file to be dropped due to the prescription, is currently looking at all these massacre files at the Supreme Court and said that the discussion of crimes against humanity cannot be brought to justice because it is not systematic. The prosecutor's 'prescription' decision in the case of the murder of 8 people in the Dargeçit JİTEM Case in 2020 was overturned by the Criminal Judgeship of Peace. There will be no prescription for crimes in the field of international 'customary criminal law' and that a real investigation should be conducted for the execution of such a decision."
Regarding the decisions that the prescription rules protect the "principle of legal security," Doğanoğlu said: "There is no contradiction between not applying for crimes against humanity and the principle of legal security because the perpetrators are not identified or punished in matters such as penal laws, constitutional guarantees or states' non-crime is a situation that threatens the principle of legal security. It is the application of prescription that violates the security of law.”
Emphasizing the characterization of "Gross Human Rights Violation", which is widely used both in United Nations (UN) law and other human rights treaty, Doğanoğlu said: "“The ECtHR has many judgments against Turkey with its jurisprudence on grave human rights violations, the application of amnesty and prescription, the protection of the right to life and its investigation. There are conventions binding on international customary law, society and states, whether they are parties to the Rome Statute or not, regarding gross human rights violations. If Turkey is a member of the UN or the Council of Europe, there are things that draw its limitations, such as conventions prepared by societies or basic principles. Judicial authorities are undergoing training in reversing the ECtHR judgments. The judicial mechanism in Turkey gave up on the basic principles of the ECtHR a long time ago."
Reminding the words of Musa Anter's son, Dicle Anter, "No matter what you decided, our struggle will not end," Doğanoğlu said: "The judicial mechanism is the most useful mechanism to gather evidence, but of course, people need to see the perpetrators to be punished."

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