2021 Turkey: Meral Şimşek
PEN Norway’s Writers in Prison Committee calls for all charges against Meral Şimşek to be dropped, and the release of persons held in prison for exercising their right to freedom of expression
To Minister of Justice,
Mr. Abdulhamit Gül,
Ministry of Justice,
Dear Minister of Justice, Mr. Abdulhamit Gül,
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 September 21. 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.
PEN Norway believes that Meral Şimşek is being targeted for her writings and calls for all charges against her to be dropped.
We are 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.
We are also calling for an end to the crackdown on the Kurdish regions and for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.
Oslo, September 1, 2021,
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee Norway
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Turkish Embassy in Oslo