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University student imprisoned

(BIANET/IFEX) - 02 August 2011 - University student Mehmet Adiguzel was convicted by the Ankara Special Authority 12th High Criminal Court on charges of shouting the slogan "Long live Dev-Sol, human dignity will besiege the torturer, oppression does not daunt us". He was convicted despite the fact that he claimed not to have shouted such a slogan and despite a report which stated that Dev-Sol is no longer active.

Dev-Sol ('Devrimci Sol'), the "Revolutionary Left", was formed in 1978 based on a Marxist-Leninist ideology. In 1994, Dev-Sol split into two factions, the designated terrorist organization Party and Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the Turkish People (DHKP-C), as the main group, and the Turkey's People's Liberation Party-Front (THKP-C). Both groups pursue political as well as military activities.

Adiguzel was found guilty of "propaganda for a terrorist organization". The court reached this conclusion even though the Dev-Sol organization does not exist anymore. A number of reasons were given for the court decision: Dev-Sol's having claimed responsibility for violent actions when it was still active and the establishment of the DHKP-C on the basis of Dev-Sol.

Adiguzel was taken into police custody on 5 November 2010 at a student protest against the Higher Education Council (YOK) in Ankara because he tried to post a banner at an office. The banner read, "YOK into isolation, no to education for money". According to the police records, the student also shouted the above-mentioned slogan.

Adiguzel dismissed the allegations. He stated that he did not shout the slogan and remarked that he did not even know what Dev-Sol was. However, the court relied on the statements of three policemen and sentenced Adiguzel to imprisonment of one year on charges of "propaganda for an illegal organization".

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