Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel, who have been tried on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" due to the Bakur documentary that they jointly directed and facing five years of prison sentence, stood trial at the Batman 2nd Heavy Penal Court today (May 29).
Mavioğlu and Demirel rejected all charges brought against them. The next hearing of the filmmakers will be held on October 23, 2018 at 2 p.m.
After the decision of adjournment was announced, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Dersim MP Candidate attorney Meral Hanbayat Yeşil posted the following tweet on her official Twitter account:
"The hearing ended. Çayan and Ertuğrul said that artistic expression cannot be put on trial. We associated with our clients. The next hearing is on October 23. We brought them the greetings of the people of Dersim, they said that they wanted to return the greetings themselves, we have also taken Çayan and Ayşe with us and are going back to Dersim. #BelgeselYargılanamaz (Documentary cannot be put on trial)".
28 international rights organizations shared a message of solidarity for the filmmakers Mavioğlu and Demirel yesterday.
The 92-minute documentary entitled, "Bir Gerilla Belgeseli: BAKUR" (A Guerilla Documentary: BAKUR (North)), which was directed by the journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and director Çayan Demirel and produced by Ayşe Çetinbaş, starts with the retreat call by the PKK's (Kurdistan Workers' Party) imprisoned Leader Abdullah Öcalan during the Newroz celebrations in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21, 2013.
The documentary was planned to be screened under the category of non-competitive films at İstanbul Film Festival. However, the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) cancelled the screening of the documentary. As a justification for the cancellation, the foundation referred to the letter of warning sent by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on April 11 regarding the "registration document" of the documentary.
On the day, when the documentary would be screened but prevented by the censorship of the İKSV, the viewers gathered in front of the Atlas Cinema in İstanbul and held a forum instead of the documentary screening.
After the forum, the filmmakers made a joint statement for the press and the crews of the films, "Nefesim Kesilene Kadar" (Until I Lose My Breath) and "Homo Politicus" implemented the boycott decision.
The lawsuit was filed two years later
Two years after the documentary was screened, a lawsuit was filed against the two directors of the documentary Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel as well as Dicle Anter, who was responsible for the screening of the documentary in the province of Batman, on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization".
In the indictment issued by the Prosecutor Ömer İlhan, it has been demanded that journalist and filmmaker Mavioğlu and director Demirel and Anter be tried as per the Anti-Terror Law Article No. 7/2. (EKN/SD)
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