War Resisters' International (WRI), an international network of pacifist and antimilitarist organisations with more than 90 affiliates in more than 40 countries, condemns the persecution of Turkish antimilitarist and feminist Pinar Selek.
For 12 years now, Pinar Selek has been under prosecution for a crime she did not commit and in connection with which there is no evidence against her - the so-called bombing of the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul on 09 July 1998. Pinar Selek was arrested in 1998, tortured during investigation and spent two and a half years in prison.
The only link asserted by the prosecution between Selek and the explosion was a statement by Abdulmecit Ozturk extracted under torture and soon withdrawn. Ozturk himself has been acquitted. Several experts came to the conclusion that there had been no bomb – the explosion had been caused by a gas bottle.
On 23 May 2008, after 10 years of trial, Pinar Selek was acquitted. However, the prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court, which ordered a retrial on grounds of procedure. When the acquittal was upheld, the Supreme Court again ordered a retrial, and demanded that Selek be sentenced to 36 years' imprisonment. Even the Head Prosecutor opposed the retrial, but this was overridden by Supreme Court Criminal General Assembly on 9 February 2010. The case was again referred to the court in Istanbul.
Penar Selek's real “