15 September 2021
Kurdish PEN member, writer and poet Meral Şimşek is facing up to 15 years in prison on the charge of ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’ and up to seven-and-a-half-years on the charge of ‘making terrorist propaganda’. She is due to stand trial on 21 September. In a separate case, Şimşek faces up to five years in prison on the charge of ‘entering a restricted military area’ after she fled to Greece earlier this year and was pushed back to Turkey. The hearing will take place on 16 November.
PEN International believes that Meral Şimşek is being targeted for her writings and calls for all charges against her to be dropped.
TAKE ACTION: Please send appeals to the Turkish authorities:
- Calling for all charges against Meral Şimşek to be dropped;
- Calling for an end to the prosecution and detention of journalists and writers on the basis of the content of their writing or alleged affiliation, and for the immediate release all those held in prison for exercising their right to freedom of expression;
- Calling for an end to the crackdown on the Kurdish regions and for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.
Send appeals to:
Role: Minister of Justice
Address: Ministry of Justice, Adalet Bakanlığı, 06659 Ankara, Turkey
Send copies to the Embassy of Turkey in your own country. Embassy addresses may be found here: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/turkey .
Please reach out to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic representatives in Turkey, calling on them to raise Meral Şimşek’s case in bilateral fora.
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 21 September 2021. ***
Please inform PEN International of any action you take and any responses you receive. Messages can be sent to Aurélia Dondo, Europe Programme Coordinator: Aurelia.firstname.lastname@example.org