A court in Brussels has made what looks like a landmark decision against the prosecution of Kurdish officials and associations on terrorism charges.
In 2006 an investigation was launched by the Belgian Federal prosecutor against Kurdish politicians and associations for alleged membership and support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Kurdish politicians and officials of the Kurdistan National Congress based in Brussels, Remzi Kartal, Zubeyir Aydar and Adem Uzun as well a Kurdish television channel and cultural associations in the country were under investigation. A total of 36 people were included in the indictment with the case beginning in October 2015.
A decision by the court today ended the trial with the judge making a landmark decision.
Saying that an armed conflict was going on in Turkey, the judge decided the terrorism law could therefore not be used in the case.
The prosecution against the Kurdish television channel was also dropped on the grounds it could be a violation of the right to freedom of speech the judge said.
A statement by the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) stated, “The court decision recognises that a war is going on in Turkey and that the allegations of the Turkish state, saying that the Kurds are terrorists, is false.”
Commenting on the case, KNK official Adem Uzun tweeted, “The terror case against the Kurds has been dropped. Belgian court decided in favour of Kurds. It said this was an armed struggle and could not be prosecuted as terror.”
The decision will go to the Federal prosecutor who has the right to overturn it.
Turkish media reported the development as a “scandalous decision” by a Belgian court.